Arthritis Management For Cats And Dogs


While arthritis is not fully curable, numerous treatment options exist to manage the condition. These treatments help slow joint deterioration, control inflammation, and alleviate pain. Collaborating with your veterinarian to develop a suitable medication and treatment plan can enhance the quality of life for your dog or cat.


Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are crucial for managing joint pain and inflammation in dogs. Prescription medications like Galliprant®, carprofen, and meloxicam are considered safer and more effective for controlling pain and inflammation than over-the-counter, non-veterinary alternatives.

Additional pain management options

Beyond NSAIDs, your veterinarian might suggest other pain relief medications to complement NSAID treatment. These could include gabapentin or tramadol. Sometimes, muscle relaxants like Methocarbamol are also incorporated into pain management protocols.

Adequan Injections

Adequan®, a series of FDA-approved injections administered by your veterinarian, has effectively reduced inflammation and enhanced joint lubrication.


Librela™ represents the first and only anti-nerve growth factor (NGF) monoclonal antibody (Mab) therapy available for alleviating pain from osteoarthritis in dogs. This treatment involves a monthly injection administered by your veterinarian.


Steroids may be utilized on a short or long-term basis in certain situations to manage arthritis-related inflammation and pain. However, it's important not to combine steroids with NSAIDs, as this can cause side effects like stomach ulcers. Always inform your veterinarian about your pet's medications before introducing steroids into their treatment plan.

Change In Lifestyle

While supplements and medications effectively target pain and inflammation, the advantages of minor adjustments to your pet's diet, exercise, and overall lifestyle are significant. A nutritious diet supplies essential vitamins and minerals that combat inflammation and help maintain your pet's weight, reducing stress on their joints. Implementing a moderate and well-managed exercise regimen is also crucial for managing arthritis. Regular activity helps maintain joint flexibility, strengthens muscles and ligaments, and prevents obesity.


Supplements support cartilage repair, joint lubrication, and overall joint health. They are often viewed as safer alternatives to steroids and NSAIDs due to their minimal side effects. However, it's important to note that supplements may take 1-2 months to show the impact, so they are only a short-term solution for acute pain and inflammation. Supplements can also be used preventively in animals without arthritis to help stave off joint issues in the future. Common ingredients in these supplements include green-lipped mussel extract, glucosamine, and chondroitin, available in forms like chews, tablets, or powders for dogs and cats. They are most effective when used in conjunction with other treatments.


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