Arthritis In Dogs What To Look For


Arthritis in dogs
Fagan Is 16 Years Old

Just as in humans, arthritis in dogs is a condition that can cause dogs pain, swelling and stiffness in their joints.

There are several potential causes; sometimes arthritis may result from an old injury or the joint may simply become damaged through wear and tear due to old age.

In fact, many older dogs suffer from arthritis and vets consider all dogs over the age of seven to be at risk of developing arthritis.

In dogs, the most commonly affected joints are the knees, elbows, hips and backbone.

Although arthritis is usually associated with pain and stiffness in the joints, it can be very difficult to see this in your dog. It is often only after the pain has been relieved, and your dog has renewed mobility, that you may come to realise just how stiff they had become.

If you’ve got an older dog, maybe some of this sounds sadly familiar. You used to go outside and play for hours. At the dog park, those other hounds could never hope to keep up with your quick-footed canine. Your furry friend could easily jump over most obstacles, so putting up pet gates at home was practically futile. But now, things are different.

Playtime has dwindled down to a half-hearted romp with a pull toy.

Your pup struggles to get in and out of cars.

Everything seems to elicit groans of discomfort — from climbing stairs to curling up on the couch. Are these the telltale signs of arthritis in dogs?

Treatment And What You Can Do

Weight Management

Keeping your dog lean and at a good weight is one of the single most important things you can do. This helps your dog immensely.

Arthritis in dogs
Fagan at The Groomers


Swimming strengthens muscles, yet it’s extremely gentle on tender joints. That makes it a totally natural, very effective way to help alleviate dog arthritis symptoms. Search social media for certified canine hydrotherapy facilities.

Omega Three and Fish Oils

The recommended level of omega-3 supplementation is 175 mg/kg body weight. If you factor in that soybean oil is 7 percent omega-3 fatty acid, you would need to feed 2.5 mL of oil per kg of body weight. So, for a 20-kg dog, you would feed 50 mL of oil per day.

While this is only a starting dose which you may need to increase for your dog, there are some possible hazards in over-supplementing omega-3 fatty acids, such as a decreased ability for blood to clot, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and hives. Therefore, omega-3 fatty acids should not exceed 4 percent of your dog’s daily caloric intake, or 500mg/kg body weight or 4 tablespoons oil/cup of food. Remember, too, these fats are high in calories, so you may need to adjust the rest of your dog’s diet to keep him or her from putting on extra pounds.

A Study Is Being Carried Out At Bristol University

In partnership with Dogs Trust we are investigating the effects of an omega-3 oil supplement on the management of osteoarthritis (OA) associated pain in dogs. 

This project is being generously funded by the Dogs Trust.  

Project Outline

Our study is designed to compare the effects of treating a group of dogs with omega-3 docosahexanoic acid (DHA) to the effects of a placebo treated group. The aim is to investigate whether DHA reduces pain and improves quality of life in dogs with osteoarthritis. This is a four month study where participants will be asked to attend appointments at the University of Bristol, Langford on five occasions. Please use the ‘Get involved’ tab to find out more.

University Of Bristol


Many people think that their arthritic dog shouldnâ’t be exercised, because it will make their condition worse – this is not true! Exercise has a huge number of benefits

Exercise help keep joints supple and will help extend their life – because a dogâ’s joint tissues do not get their nutrition directly from the bloodstream, but through the joint fluid inside. By regularly moving the joints, you actually maximise joint health!

Weight loss – a dog (or a person!) who doesn’t exercise will be prone to weight gain – and excess weight puts more load on already sore joints.
Mental health – a pooch cooped up inside isn’t a happy dog. The same applies to us – going out with our pets gives both us and them a massive boost!
You do need to take care though.

The best rule for exercising an arthritic dog is little and often.

So several regular short walks throughout the day are so much better than one long walk a day.

Just one long walk a week can often makes things much worse.
at the end of the day it is amazing how much difference it can make if you ensure your dog has a well-padded, warm, dry bed to sleep in.
At the end of your walk then using ramps to make sure they can easily climb steps, or get into the car can be really helpful


Metacam is a prescription only drug prescribed by your vet.

Metacam is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), which is a type of painkiller used for the treatment of pain in dogs, cats and guinea pigs.
Metacam is the most popular painkiller used by vets in the UK to treat arthritis in dogs and cats.

Therefore, it plays a vital role in improving the quality and enjoyment of life for pets with arthritis.
Metacam is licensed for use in dogs, cats and guinea pigs.

For dogs it is available as both an easy to give oral liquid as well as chewable tablets. As most cats and guinea pigs do not readily take tablets, it is available in just the easy to administer liquid formulation.

Metacam UK

1. Start your dog on glucosamine-type supplements at the first sign of arthritis, or even before.

2. Keep your dog lean to reduce wear and tear on her joints, and encourage moderate exercise that doesn’t make lameness worse.

3. Use an anti-inflammatory diet and natural supplements to control arthritis pain before resorting to drugs.

4. Maintain a health journal for your dog to record which treatments you try, at what dosages, and how well they work for your dog.

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