pet arthritis

GENERAL RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ARTHRITIS

These are a list of the things that the Veterinarians at the Scottsdale Veterinary Clinic may recommend for arthritis in your pet:

SUPPLEMENTS – These are very safe products to help decrease inflammation, heal the joint, and reduce pain in your pet.  Side effects are minimal with these supplements and usually involve stomach upset or diarrhea.  They work in different mechanisms so one or all of them may be recommended.  These are usually started in the early stages of arthritis.  Additional medications are added as arthritis progresses.

  1. Fish Oil- Wellactin- Omega 3 fatty acids (DHA) is recommended for arthritis. This is especially important with arthritis patients with kidney disease. Very safe, in overdosage may cause acid reflux or diarrhea.  If used in very high doses (especially with aspirin products) may cause prolonged bleeding.  Dose is generally 100 mg per 10 pounds.
  2. Glycoflex- Glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM supplements are beneficial for multiple types of arthritis and appear to aid in cartilage health. Generally, 100 mg/ 10 pounds of body weight is the recommended dosing for glucosamine.  Glucosamine products should be used cautiously with diabetic patients.
  3. Cetyl-M- This joint supplement uses Cetyl Myristoleate as the main ingredient. This supplement helps in lubricating the joints. This is highly recommended for hip, knee, shoulder, elbow, and carpus arthritis.  This supplement is very effective for arthritis/tendon sheath pain. This is commonly used for animals that are chewing over a joint.
  4. Duralactin- This product uses milk proteins to reduce inflammation in the body. This product is very safe and has been used in most species of animals with almost no side effects. This is highly recommended for back arthritis/pain.
  5. Niacinamide- This is one of the B vitamins and appears to help with arthritis- the dose is 500 mg for dogs over 25 pounds, and 250 mg under 25 pounds. Give the dose 3 times per day. This product is very safe and inexpensive.
  6. Adequan Injections – This is an injectable product that can help especially with spinal arthritis in many species of animals. This is and injectable form of chondroitin and works much more rapidly than oral forms of chondroitin. Should not be used with bleeding disorders.  This injection is given every 1-4 weeks to help with arthritis.

LIFESTYLE CHANGES – Weight loss and exercise are critical to the management of arthritis.  If your pet is overweight, changes such as decreasing treats, changing to a diet or prescription weight-loss food, and increasing the amount of low-impact exercise such as swimming, will help to decrease pain and support the joints.

PRESCRIPTION DIET – Prescription formulation diets are recommended to provide fish oil, glucosamine, chondroitin and other supplements. This is an especially good option for patients that may be difficult to medicate. Royal Canin Mobility Support and Hills j/d are excellent options for joint supplementation. Reevaluate how much food you are giving each day as these foods are high in fat (fish oil) and may cause weight gain.

COLD LASER THERAPY –  These treatments stimulate stem cells to re-activate and continue the healing process.  This also appears to aid in blood flow and reduce muscle spasms in the area.  These treatments are performed weekly for one month, then once monthly as needed.  These especially help during the cold winter months when arthritis flairs up.

ACUPUNCTURE – Can be used to stimulate blood flow and pain release with arthritis.

CHIROPRACTIC ADJUSTMENTS – Can be very helpful if your pet has a neck or back injury.

MASSAGE THERAPY – This is recommended for home use and is very effective for muscle spasms.  This therapy can be combined with tail pulls (stretches) to help with muscle aches and pains.

STEM CELL THERAPY –  We now have the ability to harvest your pet’s stem cells, grow, and inject them back into their joints.  This is very helpful for chronic arthritis conditions, in multiple joints.

PROLOTHERAPY – This therapy aids in the healing of joints by using your pet’s own platelets and growth factors to help with healing. This is recommended after an acute injury when we want to stimulate scar tissue.

NSAIDs – Aspirin, Rimadyl, Metacam, Previcox, and Deramax are anti-inflammatory medications that help with arthritis pain.  Only one of these medications can be used at a time to avoid serious side effects, such as liver failure, stomach ulcers, etc.  These should not be used with cortisone.  Recommend checking bloodwork 3-4 weeks after starting these medications and every 6-9 months thereafter to ensure proper kidney and liver function.  These products appear to work better if they are not used on a continuous basis.  These products work better in chronic arthritis pain, than acute injuries where scar tissue creation is important.

PAIN MEDICATION – Sometimes the combination of a cartilage-protecting agents and an anti-inflammatory drug is not adequate for pain control. There are several appropriate pain relievers that can be used in pets. These medications are strictly analgesics and do not modify the inflammation in the joint.

  1. Tramadol – This is an oral pain medication that has few side effects. This product is morphine-like and works for many patients with arthritis pain. Other morphine products may be used however tramadol is less expensive and the only common side effect is constipation.
  2. Amantadine – This is an oral medication that assists in pain relief by inhibiting receptors in the nervous system that create sensations of chronic pain. This medication has been used for pain relief in human therapy for arthritis, neuralgic pain and cancer. This medication has few side effects; however, can in some cases cause diarrhea and increased flatulence.
  3. Gabapentin- This is an oral medication that can assist, in addition to other medications, in the relief of chronic pain, especially due to arthritis or neuropathic/nerve pain, and is safe for both dogs and cats. Common side effects are infrequent; however, can include diarrhea and sedation upon initial use. Side effects typically resolve after several days of continuous use. Use caution when using this medication in pets with kidney or seizure disorders. Gabapentin should not be abruptly discontinued after long-term use, and should instead be tapered down slowly.

ANABOLIC STEROIDS – Winstrol-V is an anabolic steroid which helps to build muscle and can help stimulate the appetite.  It can sometimes cause liver issues.  We recommend bloodwork every 3-6 months to evaluate liver function.  This is generally used in an injectable form and generally in the last year of your pet’s life.

CORTISONE – (Prednisone) is a different type of steroid that will decrease inflammation but can increase food and water intake and urination along with weight gain.  Prednisone cannot be used at the same time as the NSAIDs listed above.  These products are generally given in the last year of life due to their potential side effects. They are inexpensive but commonly cause immune suppression, liver disease, diabetes, etc.

Feel free to discuss recommendation with one of our doctors for the ultimate health of your pet, if they are not rapidly improving with current therapy. (480) 945-8484

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