Common Arthritis Medication For Dogs

Even the healthiest and most playful dogs get weaker as they grow older. One way to keep them healthy is to ensure they get adequate, consistent exercise time as movement of the joints keep them limber and agile, reducing stiffness. Unfortunately, when your dog displays pain behaviors during movement, they’re more likely to avoid moving so as not to experience the discomfort of pain.

As a physical therapist for humans, I always tell my patients that “Exercise is Medicine.”

Movement is the treatment. The resulting joint stiffness and sometimes, even shortening of soft tissues leading to contractures are hard to reverse once the habit of minimal movement sets in.

For most vets, arthritis medications come as the first option to treat chronic pain. Some may find it as the last alternative. But if taken properly, these medications can do great help to our best friends. However, they can be dubious because of their known adverse effects. By learning about the common arthritis medication for dogs, you can help your pet during his challenging condition.

What Are Common Arthritis Medications?

The cartilage surfaces of your dog’s joints will naturally start to get thin as he gets old. Eventually, the cartilage cells will die. Once these cells die, enzymes are released which triggers swelling of the joint capsule and produces too much joint fluid. These characteristics will lead to a condition called arthritis.

Your dog could suffer as he becomes arthritic. Hence, it would be helpful if you rescue his condition by giving him some of the common arthritis medication for dogs:

1. Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

Analgesic treatments that work to alleviate the pain caused by arthritis are called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These types of drugs invigorate the morale of the dogs by addressing their pain. They immediately act by lowering prostaglandins that trigger pain, and this lets the pet dogs conveniently move and exercise.

If your dogs can carry out activities such as exercising, their digestive systems, lungs, and hearts function just as how they should be. When an arthritic dog can manage to exercise, the firmness of his muscle is maintained. This technique facilitates sustaining the joints in proper alignment, which dwindles the intensity of pain.

2. Corticosteroids

Corticosteroids are typically released in small quantities in all warm-blooded beings and that includes pets and people. The pharmaceutical corticosteroids imitate natural steroids, although they are comparably in greater concentration. 

Corticosteroids are ideally consumed for emergency purposes rather than chronic medication for painful illnesses such as arthritis. Since these types of medications can develop serious adverse effects, there should be a prescription to acquire them. Moreover, your vet may also ask for regular blood examination to check if the liver is still in a healthy condition. Some vets will suggest adding Denosyl to secure the liver.

3. Glucosamine And Chondroitin Sulfate

These medications are commonly called as chondroprotectants. They are pieces of cartilage that are mostly harvested from sea mollusks. By letting your dog consume these pieces orally, he can acquire a lot of the essential building blocks necessary to restore the deteriorated cartilage. 

Moreover, it is also believed that these medications could contain certain ant-inflammatory elements other than their structural applications. 

4. Methyl Sulfonyl Methane (MSM)

MSM depicts another nutriceutical anti-inflammatory element. It is commonly seen in many animals and plant tissue and is a common origin of sulfur. Nevertheless, commercially, MSM is taken from dimethylsulfoxide or DMSO, a solvent that originates in both industrial and medical grade. 

You might think how could be a source of sulfur be ideal in medicating arthritis. The glycosaminoglycans that allow cartilage to absorb water, and therefore serve as padding for integrating bones, are entirely sulfates. 

The concept with MSM is to offer nutritive building blocks necessary for cartilage restoration. 

A good dog ramp eases arthritic symptoms

Becoming a responsible pet owner, you should aim to reinforce fit, fundamentally healthy dogs. You must keep them with good nutrition and breed and age-suitable exercise and at ideal body weights. Moreover, you must start using arthritis medications and supplemental unifying therapies the moment they display some indications of arthritis or are diagnosed with retrogressive arthritis. 

You can rescue your pet and make him live a painless life by becoming observant of the changes in his activity level, posture, and gait. Consult your vet if you notice some abnormalities in the pattern of movements of your dog. Your vet could give you advice on what medication to give should your pet suffers from arthritis. Trust that your vet could help you.

Another very helpful non-invasive treatment option to mange arthritis in dogs is to invest in a dog ramp that you can fold or lift to and from various surfaces. Your wobbly pets would tremendously benefits from this device so they could comfortably get on and off various high bed/couch/vehicles without straining their joints further.

Here’s a list of the best dog ramps we’ve researched on that values quality over price.

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Lovelia Horn

I’m a certified crazy dog mom, a physical therapist (for hoomans), writer, animal rescuer, and foster home provider. Together with my hubby Ryan, I’ve fostered and helped look for forever homes for over a hundred shelter dogs in the Southern Illinois area. I mostly work with Puppy Rescue 911, Inc., a certified animal rescue organization based out of Chester, IL (home of Popeye!)

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