Features April 2017 Issue

Prescription Drugs for Dogs' Arthritis Pain

Keeping your dog out of pain, even if he has developed osteoarthritis or other joint and muscle issues, will help him stay mobile and active. This, in turn, will help him stay slim, which is especially important for senior dogs. By contrast, carrying extra weight can aggravate pain and cause a cycle of inactivity and more weight gain.

Prescription Drugs for Dogs' Arthritis Pain

A range of options for treating your dog's arthritis pain exist, but note the contraindications for each.

Hundreds of drugs developed for human pain are used by veterinarians to treat chronic pain in dogs, but only nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (abbreviated as NSAIDs and pronounced “EN-seds”) and two non-NSAID prescription drugs (Galliprant and Adequan) have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for canine use. For many veterinarians, prescription drugs are a first choice for the treatment of chronic pain, while for some they are a last resort. Used well, drugs can make a world of difference for older dogs, but they are controversial because of their documented side effects.

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