Arthritis Treatment

Treatment Options for your Arthritic Dog

There are many different treatment options available for your arthritic dog.  Important factors to consider are the age of your dog, the stage and severity of arthritis and it’s general health.  Every dog will respond to each treatment differently, so please discuss the best treatment methods to manage your dog’s arthritis with one of our vets here at Gladesville


Weight Control

Body weight should be maintained within healthy ranges as this will reduce the stress load on arthritic joints.  Weight reduction can be achieved by reducing caloric intake and controlled exercise.

Supportive Exercise

Regular daily exercise within the bounds that does not aggrevate the dog’s lameness helps keep joints functioning and maintains mobility and muscle tone and function.


Warm soft bedding that is easily accessed by the pet is the best option.

 Disease Modifying Medication & Supplements

 Pentosan Polysulphate  eg:  Cartrophen, Zydax, Sylvet

  • Decreases ongoing damage to the cartilage within the joint
  • Reduces inflammation and improves local circulation
  • Increases both the volume and quality of joint fluid
  • Is given as tablets or as an injection undr the skin every week for four weeks and then as advised by the vet

Nutraceutical Supplementation:  Chondroitin Sulfate/Glucosamine

  • Found in the following products:  Glycoflex, Cosequin, Sasha’s Blend, Glyde, Joint Guard and PAW Osteo-support
  • Provides strength to collagen fibres, increasing the quality of joint cartilage and capsular repair
  • Acts as precursor nutrients to form proteoglycans (an important component of joint cartilage)
  • Decreases cartilage destruction by inhibiting harmful substances and joint inflammation

Fish Oil eg:  Salmon Oil or EPA

  • Provides omega-3 fatty acids, which inhibit the number of inflammatory ‘messenger’ molecules made by the body’s immune system.  This results in a reduced level of inflammation
  • Is found in some nutritional supplements (eg:  Seaflex) or can be given via fish oil capsules

Hills Prescription Diet J/D

Hills J/D is a special diet specially designed for arthritic dogs.  It comes in canned and dry varieties.  It is used to reduce pain, preserve healthy cartilage and allow affected dogs to exercise more easily.

The product contains the following ingredients:  Omega 3 fatty acids, Eicosapentaenoic acid, Glucosamine, Chondroitin sulphate, L-Cartinine and Antioxidants, so it eliminates the need for addtional nutricional supplements.

Complementary Medicine


  • An extremely safe treatment
  • i\Involves inserting very fine needles into specific points on the body
  • Acupuncture is thought to work by influencing the nervous system and hormones within the body
  • Each treatment lasts 10-30 minutes and initially occurs at weekly intervals
  • In the majority of cases is extremely effective in the treatment of arthritis

Trigger Point Therapy

  • A trigger point is a localised, hyperirritable area found within muscles.  When gentle compression is applied, the area becomes exquisitely painful
  • Treatment of the trigger point involves stimulation of the affected area by massage, acupuncture needles, or electrical nerve stimulation onto the skin or specific acupuncture methods
  • Stimulation of the affected area results in relaxation of the trigger point, allowing the muscles to be gently stretched to their full length
  • Treatment sessions usually last 30 minutes

Acupuncture and trigger point therapy are available here at GVH
 Call our receptionists for an appointment

Pain Relief and Anti-Inflammatory Medication

Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAID’s) eg:  Carprofen, Meloxicam and Previcox

  • Reduces joint pain and reduces inflammation of the joint lining
  • Allows greater use of the affected joint
  • Can favourably modify joint metabolism and decrease the release of inflammatory chemicals
  • Can be joint protective
  • Potential side effects; please discuss these with one of our vets here at Gladesville


  • Synthetic opiod
  • Provides pain relief but does not reduce inflammatin
  • Can be used in addition to other medications

Glucocorticoids eg:  Prednisolone

  • Entire body effects include weight gain and an increased appetite/thirst.  However, these are more common with prolonged use
  • Potent anti-inflammatory effects and some pain relief


Surgery is generally a salvage treatment option and is therefore only indicated in the later stages of the disease when other measures can no longer control the pain or the joint function is very poor

For example, arthrodesis or foint fusion of an arthritic joint to eliminate pain