Did you know that 20% of adult and 80% of geriatric dogs have osteoarthritis?
Arthritis medicine for dogs comes in a variety of forms.
The most common form is the pill and chewable pill form.
These pills are in the general pharmaceutical drug class termed NSAIDs.
NSAIDs exert their benefit by breaking or changing the inflammatory pathway that leads to swelling, pain, and inflammation.
The most commonly used arthritis NSAIDs are:
Injectable dog arthritis medicines include the PSGAGs and hyaluronic acid.
The most common brand names are Adequan and Legend.
Adequan is labeled for use in the dog while Legend is used off-label. Adequan is only labeled for use in the horse.
These injectable arthritis medicines lubricate the joints and protect against cartilage degradation.
Injectable medicines have minimal risks to the patient
They are safe!
I have used these injectable arthritis medicines by the bucketful and never had an issue other than post-injection muscle soreness at the injection site.
Other types of dog arthritis medicine include powders and capsules.
Powders and capsules usually contain herbal medicines or supplements.
The benefits of using powders are they are cost-effective, easily administered, and readily available.
The downside of powders is they can be dusty and not too tasty.
On the other hand, capsules generally cost more and can be more difficult to administer.
When deciding what type of dog arthritis medicine is best for you and your pet, consider:
- Side effects: Western, pill form arthritis medicines all have potential risks.
- Ease of administration: Chewable pills are the easiest to administer and dogs eat them like treats.
- Cost: Western arthritis pills generally cost more.
- Time: If you elect to use the injectable medicine, you will have to take your dog to the veterinarian weekly or learn how to give injections at home.
- Herbal medicine: It takes time for herbal medicines to benefit your pet. I tell my clients results may take up to three weeks depending on the issue.