Supplements for Dog Arthritis
While dietary supplements are a great way to help combat dog arthritis, they’re not for everyone. In some cases, the arthritis is too advanced for them to be effective, and for some dogs, supplements just don’t seem to work.
Arthritis affects about a quarter of all dogs and about 90% of old dogs. Larger breed canines get more than their fair share of dog arthritis. Essentially dog arthritis is a deterioration of the joints and particularly the cartilage. The condition can have a significant impact on your animal’s quality of life, causing considerable pain and discomfort and limiting mobility. With limited mobility comes a more sedentary lifestyle, with less exercise, which can cause your dog to become obese or develop health problems related to inadequate exercise, thus shortening his life.
One of the most frequent questions I get asked by people whose dogs are suffering from arthritis is: “Isn’t there a pill you can give him to relieve his pain?”
And while there is no “magic pill”, there are drugs like Rimadyl, Metacam, Previcox, and other NSAIDs. The problem is, these drugs have been found to produce side effects in some dogs, and these side effects can leave some dogs worse off than they were before they started taking them.
Now there’s a dilemma for you and for me as the vet who has to prescribe these NSAIDs. Prescribing these drugs is not something I take lightly. In fact, I have dedicated years of my life to researching dog arthritis treatment options, and I’ve treated countless dogs that have this disease. I’m very up-to-date on the risks and rewards of NSAIDs.
Mild to near-miraculous relief from pain. What a joy to see a formally pain-wracked dog suddenly running and jumping again, or at least being able to hop on and off the couch and take a walk on the leash without cringing in pain!
Minor side effects of NSAIDs include:
But then there are some major side effects that might affect your dog including:
Of course, not every dog is going to experience these side effects. But you don’t care about every dog. You just care about yours. That’s why you need to stay as up-to-date on the risks of administering NSAIDs to your dog as I do.
As an owner of a dog with arthritis, it’s your obligation to know as much as possible about the medications your dog may be taking so you, along with your vet, can make intelligent and informed decisions. Your dog can’t ask the vet about side effects and risks, but you can.
If you want to know what I know about the potential risks of NSAIDs and your dog, you can download my free ebook “The Risks of Prescription Medicines in Dog Arthritis” at http://www.dogarthritisplan.com . It’s a quick read that will enable you to better understand whether or not NSAIDs are right for your dog. That way you can discuss treatment options with your vet and be confident that you’re making the right decision.
There is a lot of concern out there about the use of the non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in the treatment of dog arthritis. The most popular of these drugs is Rimadyl, a potent and effective dog arthritis medication. Rimadyl and other NSAIDs are effective and generally very safe medications in dogs but they are not harmless and can have tragic side effects, so here are a few rules to make them as safe as possible.
The NSAIDs should not be your first choice for dog arthritis treatment unless your dog is suddenly very sore. For the long term control of dog arthritis you are better to start with a joint protector – Adequan injections weekly for 4 weeks and then switch to Dasuquin or Cosequin (Dasuquin is better but they are both good medications). You can add high dose fish oils to this as well.
Dog arthritis involves joint inflammation. This inflammation reduce mobility and results in pain. Although dog arthritis pain relief medications can be used to treat pain directly, the real results come when you can use anti-inflammatory dog arthritis medication to reduce joint swelling over the long term.
Vets prefer to use non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) because they produce less side effects in dogs that the traditional steroid anti-inflammatory drugs. There is very little risk in using NSAIDs on a long-term basis to reduce inflamed joints caused by dog arthritis.