I know we have talked about arthritis in pets a lot in this column, but we are seeing it more and more as pets live longer lives. And this cold weather has really brought out the aches and pains associated with arthritis in older pets.
If you notice your dog having some trouble getting up, then he may be dealing with arthritis pain. They don’t necessarily have to be limping. A dog will play and run with you and not show any pain but when he lies down to rest, he will get stiff in the joints. Getting up is slow and he may be stiff when he gets moving again.
Being attune to your pet’s needs includes getting him on something to relieve the ache of arthritis. Start by getting your pet on a joint supplement. Even if your pet has not shown any arthritis symptoms, if your dog is a large breed, I would start a joint supplement when he is around 7 years old. Start earlier if he is showing signs of pain. Choose a formula that includes Glucosamines, Chondroitin Sulfates, and MSM. MSM is an abbreviation for Methylsulfonylmethane. It has anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties for the joints that you definitely want to have in a supplement. Look for MSM in any product you decide to use.
Also, use a product made for dogs and tested on dogs. Dasuquin, Phycox, and Cosequin are great choices. They can be ordered online at Chewy.com or 1800PetMeds.com or they can be purchased at your veterinarian’s office.
Another natural supplement of sorts is in the form of an injection. It is called Adequan. It prevents joint deterioration and helps to protect cartilage in the joint. Because it is an injection, it is prescribed and monitored by your veterinarian. It can be done by the pet owner at home under a veterinarian’s supervision. It is very helpful with arthritis, and it is very safe.
Objectively assess your pet’s weight. Extra weight causes so many joint problems. Consult your veterinarian to help you select a good diet food if your pet is extremely over weight. Science Diet Metabolic or Metabolic/Mobility are two great choices. The Metabolic/Mobility has the added benefit of joint health supplements included in the food.
All-natural joint supplements and diets are great for mild arthritic problems, but for the more advanced arthritis, your pet may require anti-inflammatories to help with the pain. The next step in pain control would be an NSAID. That is the abbreviation for Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs. These drugs are processed through the liver and kidneys and so should be used sparingly when necessary.
The safest NSAIDS we use in Veterinary Medicine are Galliprant, Carprofen, Deramax, Meloxicam and Previcox. As you can see, there are several available. Choosing the right one for your pet would be a decision you should make with your veterinarian.
And, finally, the newer option is CBD oil. Results seem to vary, but some people say it really helps their pet. If you use CBD, be sure and get a quality brand. I recommend checking out www.ellevetsciences.com.
Have a question for Dr. Johns? E-mail her at [email protected]. Write to Pet Peeves, P.O. Box 2949, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32549. Johns is a Niceville veterinarian.