Your Pet Question:
I have an 8-year-old female beagle suffering from arthritis in her hips. We are giving her glucosamine in the morning and at night with her meals, but it doesn’t seem to help enough. How else can we relieve her arthritis pain?
The Expert Says:
Managing your dog’s arthritis pain better might involve many options. A primary tool can be the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAIA’s) that act to reduce both pain and inflammation in the arthritic joints. Your veterinarian can guide you in the choice and use of these prescription drugs. Nutritional supplements such as glucosamine, chondroitin sulphate and omega-3 fatty acids may also be helpful when used alone or in conjunction with other therapies. Maintaining good weight control and a regular moderate exercise program also helps the successful management of osteoarthritis. Alternative therapies including acupuncture and physiotherapy might also be beneficial. Management of osteoarthritis often involves using one or more of the above options. The therapies need to be individually tailored to the needs and responses of your pet in consultation with your veterinarian.
Dr. Doug Roberts practices veterinary medicine at Cornwallis Veterinarians Ltd. in Kentville, NS.