Treatment of canine arthritis involves a variety of options. Each approach may be right for your dog, so talk with your veterinarian to find a plan that works best for him.
NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) are the most common medications treatment of canine arthritis used to treat joint pain and inflammation in dogs. These medications can be administered orally (intravenously) or by injection into the joints to reduce pain and promote healing. They can also be combined with another class of drug, a corticosteroid, to reduce the risk of side effects from using only one medication.
Steroids are another commonly prescribed treatment for pain in dogs. However, they have a tendency to damage the liver, immune system, or gastric lining, and should be used sparingly as long-term use can lead to problems such as diabetes, Cushing’s disease, or liver inflammation.
Acupuncture is an alternative therapy that can help reduce pain and inflammation in dogs suffering from arthritis. Acupuncture can be done on a regular basis or as an emergency treatment.
The main goals of acupuncture are to increase blood flow, relax the muscles, and decrease pain. During an acupuncture session, needles are placed at specific spots in your dog’s body. The process stimulates the nerves to release endorphins, which can help alleviate your dog’s pain.
Natural and herbal supplements are another popular option for treating arthritis. These supplements, such as omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil or turmeric, can be very effective in reducing your dog’s joint pain.
A veterinary-prescribed diet can be beneficial for dogs with arthritis as well. Ideally, it should be made up of natural whole grains and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants that can fight against inflammation.
Weight management is vital for arthritic dogs as excess weight puts extra strain on the body and its joints. This is especially true for large breed dogs, which are more likely to develop arthritis than smaller breeds.
Exercise can be challenging for arthritic dogs, but it’s important to make sure your dog gets some kind of light exercise. Walking, hide and seek, swimming, and other activities can help keep your dog active and reduce pain caused by arthritis.
Nutraceutical supplements, like Adequan, are chondroprotective agents that can be given by injection into the arthritic joint. These potent substances provide your dog’s body with the building blocks it needs to repair itself and slow the deterioration of cartilage that causes arthritis.
A healthy diet can also help improve your dog’s mobility and prevent further deterioration of his joints. Avoid processed foods, as they can exacerbate your dog’s arthritis and promote inflammation.
Lastly, talk with your vet about acupuncture and massage therapies. These can be used to increase blood flow and relieve muscle tension, which can decrease arthritis-related pain.
The right treatment for your dog’s arthritis will depend on their age, metabolism, and the severity of the condition. The key is to identify the problem and get a diagnosis as soon as possible.