Arthritis in Dogs

Your dog is more than just a pet – he’s a full-fledged member of your family. A happy face that’s always glad to see you, knows when you need cheering up and even feels pain, just like you do. In fact, one out of five dogs suffers from daily arthritis pain.  Pain that makes it difficult to jump, climb stairs, even get in and out of the car.

Now there are solutions.

At the Folly Road Animal Hospital, we try to take a multi-modal approach to osteoarthritis, or OA.  Could pet obesity be playing a role by placing extra strain on older joints?  Could hypothyroidism, or other metabolic dysfunction, be altering the normal immuno-modulating responses in the patient?  Could the osteoarthritis be secondary to nutritional imbalances? Could an infectious disease of the joints, such as what occurs with Lyme disease, be causing the OA?  How about an auto-immune problem?

Could the pain be unrelated to OA altogether, but related to a neuropathy (a nerve disorder), a myopathy (a muscle disorder), or to active chronic pain causing diseases, such as Lyme disease (which, in addition to other signs, may rarely cause a neuropathy and/or a myopathy)?  Diabetes mellitis may cause chronic neuropathic pain, as well.  Depending on the answers, there are breakthrough new drugs that precisely target the sources of arthritis pain and neuropathic pain and are proven safe enough to use every day.  It’s a way for you to control the pain, all-day, everyday.

Does your dog exhibit any of the following signs?

  • Difficulty rising from a resting position?
  • Stiffness after exercise?
  • Trouble climbing stairs?
  • Yelps when wakened suddenly or surprised while resting?
  • Limping? Difficulty with walking or running?
  • Hesitates to jump up on the bed or furniture or into the truck or car (when it used to jump without hesitating)?

If you answered “yes” to any of the following, talk to your veterinarian about scheduling an exam for osteoarthritis.  Dogs should be evaluated for pre-existing conditions before beginning any new medication and monitored during therapy.  As with all drugs, side effects may occur. These are normally mild, but rarely may be quite serious. In field studies, the most common side effects of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAIDs)-type OA medications were gastrointestinal signs that were dosage dependent (lowering the dose often eliminated signs).

Additionally, we offer the following neutriceuticals to help with OA.  These two products, Arthri-Ease Gold supplements and Missing Link omega fatty acid supplements have given us the most consistent results within this fairly unregulated group of medicines.