Osteoarthritis in Dogs -PART 2
Unfortunately, there is no cure for Osteoarthritis (OA). We can only prevent progression and treat the symptoms of OA. Treatment for OA is multimodal, meaning we use multiple treatments and approaches, and the earlier we start the better the results. Here are some of the common methods we use at Newberry Animal Holistic to treat OA:
1. Weight Management- Preventing obesity and maintaining our dogs at a lean body weight is the most important thing that we can do to prevent OA. Studies show that dogs maintained at an ideal body weight live nearly two years longer than dogs that are just slightly overweight.
2. Exercise- Regular low impact exercise such as swimming and walking are important for building muscle that will support unstable joints and to help with weight management. Avoid high impact activity such as jumping or sudden starts and stops.
3. Omega 3 Fatty Acids (Free Form Snip Tips)- Found in products such as fish or krill oil, Omega 3 Fatty Acids can decrease inflammation and pain. We use these products early in the course of OA to help delay the onset of pain and lameness.
4. Glucosamine/chondroitin (Dasaquin)- Similar to Omega 3 Fatty Acids, glucosamine/chondroitin supplements may decrease inflammation and pain and are often started in at risk dogs or at the first sign of OA.
5. Acupuncture- An ancient form of Chinese medicine involving small needles placed at specific locations. After acupuncture many dogs show decreased pain and require less pain medications which can be important for older dogs with underlying liver and kidney disease.
6. Adequan- A series of injections given under the skin twice weekly for four weeks then once monthly there after. The injection spreads to the joints of the body decreasing inflammation and cartilage destruction and increasing joint lubrication. After the initial series of injections we often see improvement in pain and lameness.
7. NSAIDS (Previcox, Rimadyl)- NSAIDS or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are commonly used medications that decrease pain and inflammation. They are very effective drugs but should be used cautiously with underlying liver, kidney, and gastrointestinal disease. Blood work is required periodically with regular use of these medications to ensure proper organ function.
8. Other pain medications- Pain medications, such as gabapentin, tramadol, and amantadine, can be combined with NSAIDS to provide pain relief for dogs with severe OA and are sometimes used alone in dogs that can not tolerate NSAIDS.
Please contact Dr. Spinosa who is an excellent Gainesville Veterinarian at Newberry Animal Holistic & Wellness Center if you have any questions about osteoarthritis and how we can help your dog live a more comfortable life.