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Treatments for Arthritis in Pets

The following article is courtesy of our partner, Banfield Pet Hospital. Used with permission.

Medical Treatment

Veterinary care can help reduce inflammation and ease the pain of arthritis. Some of the tools your veterinarian may use to treat your pet:

Treatments for Arthritis in Pets


  • Antibiotics help treat infectious causes of arthritis. Immunosuppressive drugs are effective against autoimmune disorders.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) help control the debilitating effects of degenerative arthritis. These medications can effectively control pain and inflammation in dogs. In fact, your older dog may act like a puppy again!
  • Chondroprotective agents, including glucosamine andchondroitin, are natural compounds that the body uses to replenish joint materials.
  • MSM (natural dietary sulfur), antioxidant vitamins and fatty acid supplements may decrease the inflammatory effects of arthritis.
  • Cortisone can be effective in the treatment of arthritis but can have side effects with prolonged use at high dosages.

The bottom line is that there are many, many therapeutic options to help older pets deal effectively with this common condition of old age.

What You Can Do

Lightening the load on joints may help decrease the pain associated with arthritis. If your pet is overweight, proper diet and weight control is essential. Your veterinarian can recommend a therapeutic diet and exercise program, such as regular walking, to decrease your pet’s weight safely.

Providing a padded bed and a warm, dry environment and appropriate medications for your pet can also help control discomfort.

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