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How to Treat Arthritis and Joint Pains in Dogs


Arthritis in Dogs

Arthritis can be as uncomfortable for dogs as it is for humans. The difference is it can be difficult to detect in dogs, and it can present additional challenges without the requisite knowledge necessary for treatment.

Inflammation of the joints is no laughing matter, so if your dog is showing signs of discomfort, pain, and stiffness, there’s a good chance they’re suffering from arthritis. This is a common condition in dogs, one which tends to develop with age. The dogs of today are living longer than ever before, meaning it’s important for pet owners to know how to alleviate the symptoms and make their dog’s life easier.

 Rather than detect issues once it’s too late, it’s better to be equipped and take a preventative approach. Symptoms will include things like missing or torn cartilage, instances of scar tissue, calcium deposits, changes to bones and other issues that will persistently affect your pet’s quality of life.

 It’s important to pay close attention to your dog’s movements, especially considering they’ll have a tendency to hide their pain. To make life easier on your dog you should consider the following remedies and approaches:

Supporting Arthritis Treatment in Dogs

Though it’s difficult to treat your dog’s arthritis independently, that doesn’t mean to say you can’t supplement your pet with remedies that reduce inflammation and pain. Surgical intervention is a necessary measure in many cases.

But making your dog as comfortable as possible should be a top priority, whether they need surgery or not. Underlying arthritic changes can resurface at any time. However, you can manage the pain at home with one or more of the following methods:

Nutritional Supplements

With the right courses of nutrition, structural damage to a dog’s bones can be corrected. Supplements can be taken orally alongside a healthy, balanced diet. Some of the most essential ingredients for healthy functioning include glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, omega-3 fatty acids and methylsulfonylmethane (MSM).

When taking in reasonable proportions, improved comfort is a noticeable consequence. This can take some weeks, but with a long term approach, you’ll secure the health of your beloved pet. Supplements work best when combined with other forms of treatment.

Physical Therapy

This is a corrective measure that can be executed using methods like physical therapy, acupuncture, weight management, cold laser treatments and other options for improving your dog’s mobility.

 What’s great about therapeutic efforts is they address the root cause of the problem, rather than merely focusing on alleviating the symptoms.

joint pain in dogs

Prescription Medications

There are various pain management methods for addressing your dog’s arthritis. These won’t improve your dog’s underlying condition, though they will make their life considerably easier. Here are a few joint meds for dogs to consider:

Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

NSAIDs can have positive effects on dogs, providing you use doses intended for dogs, not for humans. Drugs like Rimadyl, Metacam, Detamaxx, and Etogesic are designed specifically for dogs.

 However, you should be warned, because as can happen with human versions of these drugs, complications like gastrointestinal upset and other organ dysfunctions can arise. Galliprant is a new alternative that is safer on the Kidneys, so it’s being used more frequently today.

 You should always have the approval and perhaps supervision of your veterinarian when administering drugs to your dog.


Perfect for reducing swelling, corticosteroids like Prednisone and dexamethasone can help your dog through difficult times. However, new research suggests potential complications when using steroids for long-term palliation of arthritis, one of the biggest reasons why they’re not prescribed as much as they once were.

Corticosteroids can interact badly with other medications as well, meaning it’s important to choose wisely and to only use these drugs under recommended circumstances.