Vet Minute: How to Help Dogs with Bad Hips, Joint Pain and OsteoarthritisLast updated: March 03, 2021
In this Vet Minute, Revival's Director of Veterinary Services, Dr. Marty Greer, talks about pain management for dogs. She'll discuss pain relief for older dogs and offer tips on how to help a dog with bad hips, joint pain and dog osteoarthritis.
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Video TranscriptSHELLEY: What can you do to provide some pain relief for an older dog? In this Vet Minute with Dr. Greer, Revival's Director of Veterinary Services she will be sharing tips on how to help a dog with bad hips, joint pain and dog osteoarthritis.
DR. GREER: Most of our beloved older dogs and some of our middle-aged dogs suffer from pain caused by arthritis, Lyme disease, surgery, injury and other causes. Veterinary medicine has made significant advances in the last 25 years, in the options we have for pain management. This includes pain medications, laser therapy, massage, VSMT, compresses, rest, antibiotics, and other treatments.
SHELLEY: Right, so it sounds like there are a lot of options out there. So Dr. Greer can you tell us a little more about each of those options?
- Pain medications - there are several categories of pain medications. Most frequently used are non-steroidal anti-inflammatories. These include Meloxicam, carprofen, and Galliprant, also known as Meloxicam, Rimadyl and Galliprant. Using veterinary drugs for this type of medication is essential. Dogs CANNOT safely take aspirin, Tylenol, ibuprofen or Aleve. Do NOT use human medications to treat your dog. Have your veterinary professional run blood work every 6 to 12 months to assure he or she has kidney and liver function that is not being altered by these important drugs.
- Secondly we have other pain medications - there are other categories of pain medications we can use for our dogs, with a prescription from a veterinarian. These include gabapentin, valium, and tramadol.
- Third we have laser, also known as cold laser. The use of therapy laser can speed healing and reduce pain.
- Veterinary spinal manipulation therapy - correlates with chiropractic treatment in people. Use only professionals who are certified as animal caretakers, as human chiropractors in most states are NOT licensed to diagnose and treat medical conditions in animals without the oversight of a veterinary professional.
- Massage. There are specially trained massage therapists for animals. You may already appreciate how much massage can help relieve pain from your own experience with massage.
- Sixth we have warm and cold compresses. For the first 24 hours, use cold packs to manage injuries and surgical pain. Followed with warm compresses later. Use caution to avoid temperature extremes. Let your pet "tell" you what is working for them.
- Seventh we have rest. After an injury or surgery, limit activity and exercise to allow healing. Your pet doesn't have good judgment on this. They need to count on you.
- Next we have antibiotics such as Doxycycline. This class of antibiotics is essential to helping our pets recover from tick-borne diseases such as Lyme disease, Ehrlichia and anaplasmosis. Talk to your veterinary professional for treatment if your pet has had tick exposure or if you suspect a tick-borne disease.
- The ninth category are joint supplements such as Doc Roy's Aches Away. These products contain glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM and fatty acids as well as other nutritional components. These can be very useful in improving joint lubrication and reducing joint inflammation. Use high quality products with research showing these supplements truly contain the components listed on the label. Nutritional supplements are only assessed for safety by the FDA.
Marty Greer, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, has 35+ years' experience in veterinary medicine, with special interests in canine reproduction and pediatrics. She received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Iowa State University in 1981. She's served as Revival's Director of Veterinary Services since 2019.
The materials, information and answers provided through this website are not intended to replace the medical advice or services of your personal veterinarian or other pet health care professional. Consult your own veterinarian for answers to specific medical questions, including diagnosis, treatment, therapy or medical attention.