All Pets Veterinary Clinic
Arthritis or Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD) is most simply put, inflammation of a joint.
It can have several causes including trauma, injury, genetic disorders, anatomical
abnormality, and normal aging.
Common signs of arthritis include:
1. Difficulty rising, especially in the morning or after laying for long periods of time.
2. Generalized stiffness that seems to work itself out or improve over the day.
3. Difficulty or refusal to participate in activities that were not a problem
previously (ex. stair climbing, jumping, playing, etc.).
4. Crying or whining when participating in physical activities.
5. Increased stiffness or pain in cold or damp weather.
A wide variety of treatment options are now available for canine arthritis.
Some of the more popular treatment options. It is important to remember that
every dog is different and thus some of the treatments listed may not be appropriate
for some animals. After reviewing this information, feel free to contact us about what
we recommend for your petís specific situation.
Treatment Options for Canine Arthritis:
1. Non-Prescription Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatories (NSAIDs). These drugs
decrease the amount of inflammation within the joint and relieve pain. NSAIDs are
typically inexpensive but care must be used because of possible GI ulceration. In
addition, some research suggests that aspirin can actually make canine arthritis worse.
2. Prescription NSAIDs--Rimadyl, Etogesic, and Deramaxx. These also decrease
the amount of inflammation and relieve pain. They are more potent than aspirin and are
less likely to cause GI ulceration. Regular bloodwork is strongly recommended to monitor
for long term side effects of these medications.
3. Supplements--Cosequin, Curaflex. These "natural" supplements help to replace
the building blocks of cartilage (glucosamine and chondroitin). Side effects are
typically minimal but can occur.
4. Adequan. Adequan is an injectable product designed to stop inflammation and
increase the ability of the joint to "repair" itself. Side effects occur infrequently
but can be serious. Injections are given twice a week for 4 weeks.
5. Dietary--IAMS Joint, Science Diet j/d.These foods are formulated to provide
the building blocks for healthy joints while decreasing weight. Increased body weight can
provide more stress on painful joints and worsen the signs of arthritis. These foods helps dogs
attain their ideal body weight while providing the building blocks for healthy joints.
6. Other Prescription Pain Medications. Several other stronger prescription pain
medications are available if the above things fail to help your pet.
7. Stem Cell Therapy. A revolutionary technology that uses stem cells from a small
piece of your pets fat is now available for arthritis. Dr. Blakeley is credentialed to
perform this service. See www.vetstem.com for more information.
Several over the counter supplements for arthritis are available at our online store (see link
below) including: arthogen, arthrimaxx, chondro-flex, cosequin, etc.
The information provided is for educational purposes only and is not
intended to take the place of your regular veterinarian. Please do not hesitate
to contact your regular veterinarian if you have questions regarding your pet.
Karen Blakeley, DVM, MPH
27 September 2009