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|Type of medication:||NSAID|
The best overall arthritis medication for dogs is Deracoxib, which is a generic NSAID medication. Its available in four dosages, and the tablets are scored, making for easy cutting or breaking. The tablets are a flavored chewable that many dogs are willing to eat without additional coaxing, although it is recommended to give this medication with food instead of on an empty stomach. This medication helps by inhibiting an enzyme that is responsible for the production of inflammatory mediators. This medication should not be used in conjunction with other NSAIDs or steroids as it can lead to severe side effects. It is one of the more affordable arthritis medications for dogs.
How To Talk To Your Veterinarian About Putting Your Dog On A Pain Reliever
If you suspect your dog is in pain, schedule a consultation with your veterinarian and share your concerns. Be specific in the signs you are noticing, because this will give your veterinarian clues as to where your dog hurts. Your veterinarian will conduct a physical exam, share the findings with you and make recommendations for additional testing and/or pain management.
If your veterinarian recommends testing, then do it. The information always proves valuable. For example, I have seen dogs who were diagnosed with arthritis from the physical exam and no X-rays were taken. After prescribed pain medications offered no improvement, the dogs were brought back for X-rays, only to find a bone tumor.
Veterinarians do not have crystal balls or psychic abilitiesand if they do, consider getting a second opinion. We rely on our diagnostic tools to give you an accurate diagnosis and formulate a treatment plan.
Dont be afraid to ask your veterinarian for pain management options, including natural supplements and/or generic formulations of pain meds for dogs. You also can look into online purchase options for convenience and price. Remember, your veterinary care staffs primary job is to help you and your dog.
Also ask about testing requirements for long-term pain medications. Most veterinarians require an annual exam and bloodwork to ensure that the drug is working and not causing any harm to the pets other organs.
My Dogs Veterinarian Said That My Dog Is Overweight She Prescribed New Food As Well As Some Medications And Nutraceuticals Why Are There So Many Things For Me To Give My Dog
Unfortunately, there is no magic bullet for treating OA. In fact, once OA is established, we are not so much treating it as managing it because OA is not a disease that can be cured.
OA is a very complex disease process, so managing it is a fairly complex process because we get the best results from combining multiple modalities. Typical multimodal management of arthritis generally includes the following:
Normalizing body condition is critical, so your veterinarian will prescribe a specific nutritional product to accomplish this goal. There is now a nutrient profile that can support the joints while helping to normalize body weight and condition. It is important to stick strictly to the prescribed nutritional program.
Non-steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs are generally used as the first line of defense against the pain of OA. Your veterinarian will determine if your dog is a good candidate for this class of medication.
Occasionally, a corticosteroid anti-inflammatory drug will be prescribed instead of a NSAID. The two classes of medication CANNOT be used together.
“Never reach into your own medicine cabinet when your dog limps or has been diagnosed with OA.”
Gabapentin is a pain medication that addresses chronic pain differently from NSAIDs or corticosteroids, and complements those medications. It provides a way to address the chronic nature of OA pain, and is especially helpful when the patient is older and not able to take a NSAID.
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Canine Rehabilitation And Physical Therapy
Canine Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy is a relatively new field within veterinary medicine. Rehabilitation therapy focuses on managing chronic pain and mobility issues such as those caused by arthritis and other musculoskeletal or neurologic conditions. Professionals who practice rehabilitation use many different therapies to help your pet lose weight, improve range of motion, and build strength, as well as alleviating pain and inflammation. Some of the commonly used therapies in veterinary rehabilitation include:
- Therapeutic exercise, such as underwater treadmill
- Physical therapy
- And many more!
Many arthritic patients can benefit from these rehabilitation therapies. To find a rehabilitation professional in your area, check out www.rehabvets.org or ask your veterinarian for a recommendation.
Arthritis Pain Pet Medications
Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs Analgesic medications that relieve arthritis pain, such as Rimadyl, Deramaxx, and are NSAIDs, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. NSAIDs revive the spirits of pets by resolving their pain. They work quickly to decrease prostaglandins that cause pain, and this allows pets to move easily and to exercise. When pets are able to exercise, their hearts, lungs, and digestive systems continue to function normally. When arthritic pets are able to exercise, it helps to maintain their muscle strength. This process helps hold their joints in correct alignment, which reduces the amount of pain.As with most things in nature, any medicine that can cause so much good has the potential to cause harm. To prevent harm, most NSAIDs require a veterinarian’s prescription. The veterinarian will request blood tests to confirm the NSAIDs have not damaged the stomach, liver, or kidneys. Some veterinarians recommend using Omega 3 fatty acids, such as those found in Super Pure Omega 3 and Nordic Naturals Omega-3 Pet to protect the kidney, and using Denosyl to protect the liver. DO NOT GIVE NSAIDS TO CATS.
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How Is Arthritis In Dogs Diagnosed
There is no specific test that tells us that your dog has arthritis. Often the diagnosis is made following a detailed discussion and physical examination by your veterinary surgeon, who can tell if there is any pain or stiffness in your dogs joint.
X-rays can show whether the arthritis is advanced, but the early stages dont show up on an x-ray, however even if it cant be seen it should still be treated, helping to reduce the damage in the long term.
If there is something else wrong with your dog, this will need to be treated as well as the arthritic change in the joint for the best prognosis.
Key Takeaways On Natural Remedies For Dogs With Arthritis
Although arthritis can occur at any age be it due to a poor diet and lack of exercise or a mechanical injury older dogs are more prone to suffer from arthritic pain.
First, have a session with your veterinarian to establish the right strategy for reducing pain and improving mobility.
Follow the vets instructions and support the treatment with the aforementioned natural remedies. Supplements like CBD oil, licorice, and turmeric are especially useful for treating pain and inflammation the two common signs of arthritis.
Make sure to prepare your house so that your dog can live through this demanding period with dignity.
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Recognizing Pain In Dogs
A major problem in the diagnosis and treatment of canine pain is that many dog owners dont notice its symptoms, or they notice the dog is slowing down but dont understand why. Another is that not everyone takes canine pain seriously, so its easy to overlook.
You can help your dog live a pain-free life by noticing changes in posture, gait, and activity level. Tell your veterinarian if your dog exhibits any of the following symptoms:
-Shows reluctance to walk on or difficulty getting up and down on slippery surfaces.
-Struggles to walk up or down stairs.
-No longer jumps onto or off of furniture or car seats.
-Gets up from a down position with the front legs first.
-Seems to have trouble lying down or finding a comfortable position.
-Declines to participate in favorite activities, especially running and jumping.
-Develops abnormal wear on nails, or tends to walk with a foot turned under or dragging.
-Seems reluctant to play or no longer initiates play.
-Starts taking exception to being groomed or petted.
-Experiences sleep interruptions.
-Develops a decreased appetite.
-Begins experiencing accidents or incontinence in the house.
Chronic pain can be caused by osteoarthritis, neurological disorders, injuries, and illnesses. Often, a condition has been progressing for months or even years before a caregiver notices a symptom for the first time, such as limping or a reluctance to chase a ball.
Best Natural Remedies & Holistic Options For Dogs With Pain
Limited conventional options for pain relief in dogs have made many pet owners turn to holistic remedies.
A holistic approach can help alleviate your dogs discomfort but are much safer than man-made over-the-counter drugs.
There are plenty of natural options to choose from. Some of the most popular products include feverfew and turmeric.
Supplements containing these two ingredients are easier than ever to purchase today. Turmeric is available in a number of forms appropriate for pets, which is a good thing for pet parents, considering the increasing evidence suggesting the powerful anti-inflammatory effects similar to those of cortisone but without the potential adverse reactions.
In addition, you may want to explore the following herbal supplements:
- Arnica Montana
All of the above have natural anti-inflammatory and pain-mitigating properties.
In addition to herbal supplements, you may also consider treatments like physical therapy, massage, acupuncture, hydrotherapy, and aromatherapy to further ease pain in your dog.
Theres also one particularly interesting approach to pain relief, both for humans and dogs its CBD oil.
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Surgical Options For Canine Arthritis
There are several surgical arthritis in dogs treatment options. Which one is best for your dog is something you need to discuss with a DVM.
Total Joint Replacement. This is surgical arthritis in dogs treatment where the entire hip joint is removed in dogs with joint health problems like arthritis and hip dysplasia. Joint replacement is not cost-efficient for older dogs.
During the procedure, both the ball and socket are replaced with artificial components. The ball is usually replaced with a metallic ball while the socket is replaced with a plastic socket.
Removal of the Femoral Head. This surgical arthritis in dogs treatment involves the cutting of the head and neck of the femur . After the surgery, the scar tissue helps to stabilize the joint.
The surgery is mostly done in small animals since they dont have as much weight to support. After about three months, a small dogs hip joint is expected to be functioning as normal.
Arthrodesis. This is more complex arthritis in dogs treatment option. It refers to a procedure where the two bones at the joint levels are cut and fused together to form one bone. The orthopedic surgeon removes the cartilage at the joint, cuts a portion of the bones off, and joins them.
Arthroscopic Surgery. Arthroscopy is popular arthritis in dogs treatment option as it is a minimally invasive procedure that allows the preservation of joint stability. Plus, it allows the veterinary surgeon to examine the joint cartilage up close.
Manage Arthritis In Your Dog With Fish Oils And Other Supplements
Other food supplements that can help manage the pain and impact of arthritis in your dog are fish oils and chondroitin sulfate.
Fish oils are a source of Omega-3 fatty acids, in particular DHA and EPA, which help to reduce inflammation and lubricate the joints. This reduces any pain and helps your dogs joints work as they should do.
Fish oils are derived from a variety of cold water fish and are usually either available in a chewable tablet or as a liquid to add to your dogs kibble.
You can also provide your pup with fish oils by feeding them a diet that includes a regular serving of fresh fish. Many owners prefer supplements as theyre able to control exact dosages and ensure that their pups arent taking in any toxins or heavy metals occasionally found in fresh fish.
Chondroitin sulfate is commonly combined with glucosamine in joint supplements as it too works to repair damaged tissue around the joints and to protect all existing cartilage. There are some in the scientific community who believe that the two compounds together improve the benefits of the other, although this is yet to be definitively proved.
Other supplements that can reduce inflammation around the joints and thus help manage any pain your dog may be experiencing are Vitamins C and E.
As well as improving joint function and reducing inflammation, all these supplements have a slew of other benefits for your dog including improved cognition, strengthened immune system and heart health support.
Diet And Supplements To Treat Arthritis In Dogs
Your dogs diet is always of the utmost importance and even more so if your dog has arthritis. Dr. Klein says, weight management is prime, for arthritic dogs. Excessive weight causes extra strain on your dogs body and joints. Although exercise may be difficult, especially if the arthritis is severe, you can work with your veterinarian to find appropriate activities. Additionally, you can pay close attention to his diet.
Make sure you have the right food for your dog and that it meets his nutritional needs. Prescription foods sold by veterinarians might be particularly useful in helping your dogs arthritis. These foods often contain natural anti-inflammatory, antioxidants, or Omega fatty acids.
Furthermore, you might want to consider a food containing glucosamine or giving glucosamine or chondroitin as supplements. These sulfates are the building blocks of healthy cartilage and appear to stimulate the body to make more cartilage. Dr. Klein says that studies on glucosamine and chondroitin are conflicting. However, some demonstrate a beneficial effect on arthritis pain.
How Much Does It Cost To Treat Arthritis In Dogs
The cost of arthritis in dogs treatment depends on the case. Treating a dog with light signs and symptoms can cost as low as $25 a month for pain medication and joint supplements.
On the other hand, a dog with severe arthritis may require up to $5000 for a surgical operation and post-operative care. These costs may not be feasible for dog parents unless they have a good pet health insurance plan.
The One Vet insurance plan is the ideal plan for any dog parent. For less than $1 a day, you can get access to a licensed vet, $3000 per year for vet bills, and cover for all pre-existing conditions. The insurance makes arthritis in dogs treatment accessible to all pet owners.
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Homeopathic Remedies For Arthritis
Homeopathics help many pets with arthritis. T-Relief Tablets are especially useful for dogs and cats with arthritis or acute joint pain as a result of trauma. Given shortly after injury, Traumeel helps reduce long-term damage. Traumeel is especially useful for pets with fragile stomachs, kidneys or livers who should not take NSAIDs. It benefits pets whether the damage is to bone, muscle, ligament or tendon.
Cats Are Not Small People Or Small Dogs
You have to be even more careful with cats. Compared to other species, cats have a reduced ability to break down NSAIDs.
These differences may lead to toxic effects in pets, such as ulcers and perforations in the digestive tract as well as liver and kidney damage.
Table 2: Common Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers for People
|ALEVE, MIDOL EXTENDED RELIEF, NAPROSYN|
Acetaminophen is not a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug and doesnt have much anti-inflammatory activity. Scientists dont fully understand how acetaminophen works. The drug seems to have more than one mode of action to reduce fever and relieve pain.
- Dose-dependent liver toxicitymeaning the higher the dose, the worse the liver damagethat may lead to liver failure and
- Red blood cell damage that causes these cells to lose their ability to carry oxygen.
Dogs and cats can develop both forms of acetaminophen toxicity, but cats are more prone to red blood cell damage while dogs are more likely to get liver damage.
Acetaminophen is fatal to cats. Cats should never be given acetaminophen because they lack certain enzymes that the liver needs to safely break down the drug.
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What Is Cbd And How Does It Work
CBD stands for cannabidiol. It is one of the two major active ingredients produced by cannabis plants .
Unlike THC, CBD doesnt have intoxicating properties, so it wont get you or your dog high.
This makes CBD safe for both humans and pets.
CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system , which is the major regulatory network in all mammals. The ECS helps the body maintain homeostasis by regulating several important biological functions, such as memory, mood, immune function, body temperature, appetite, reproduction, neuroprotection, and pain perception .
Similar to humans, dogs have endocannabinoid systems that interact with cannabis compounds.
Thats because the ECS produces its own cannabis-like molecules called endocannabinoids.
Whenever homeostasis gets compromised, the ECS releases more endocannabinoids to help the body return to its normal state.
However, endocannabinoids have a relatively short duration in the bloodstream. Insufficient cannabinoid concentrations may compromise the functioning of other systems and organs throughout the body.
Researchers have linked different types of chronic pain, such as arthritis, nerve pain, and fibromyalgia, to endocannabinoid deficiencies.
CBD has a multifaceted mechanism of action when it comes to pain relief. For one, it blocks the release of pro-inflammatory compounds called cytokines. Inflammation is the root cause of pain, so by reducing it, cannabidiol can ease the discomfort in your dog .