Veazie Veterinary Clinic
1522 State Street, Veazie, ME
(207) 941-8840

Arthritis Pain Control Plan

Arthritis is Graded 1 through 4 According to Symptoms and Affects

  • Grade 1: Young dog predisposed to arthritis due to conformation or injury.
  • Grade 2: Minimal existing joint disease causing infrequent symptoms.
  • Grade 3: Moderate Degenerate Joint Disease causing intermittent lameness.
  • Grade 4: Severe DJD with debilitating loss of function.

Treatment plan for each grade of arthritis:

Modality Grade 1 Grade 2 Grade 3 Grade 4
1. Weight control x x x x
2. Low impact exercise x x x x
3. Omega 3 EFA x x x x
4. Dasuquin x x x x
5. Adequan maybe x x x
6. NSAID low dose daily daily
7. Rehab x x
8. Pain control Tramadol

Specifics of the arthritis pain control plan:

  • Weight control: Studies confirm overweight dogs show more arthritic pain.
  • Low impact exercise: Walk, run and play on natural surfaces, avoid pavement and weekend warrior syndrome.
  • Omega 3 EFA (EPA): Essential fatty acids have a natural anti-inflammatory effect. One such supplement is Welactin.
  • Dasuquin: glucosamine, chondroitin, ASU supplement that supports joint health.
  • Adequan: An injectable compound that supports the cartilage matrix.
  • NSAID: Non-Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drug. Eliminate and prevent inflammation and the cause of degenerative joint disease. The main drugs that we use are Deramaxx, Metacam and Rimadyl. *Important: DO NOT give Aspirin or any over the counter medication with NSAIDs
  • Rehab for arthritis: Goals are to decrease pain, increase range of motion and build strength and mobility. Low impact exercise, land treadmill, underwater treadmill, hot tub or bathtub, flex and extend, massage and obstacle course may be used.
  • Pain Control: Required once degenerative joint disease becomes advanced and limits a dog’s mobility. Tramadol and gabapentin help prevent transmission of pain to the brain.

For Dogs Approaching End Stage:

  • NSAIDs
  • Tramadol 2-10 mg/kg three times a day
  • Gabapentin 2-20 mg/kg twice a day
  • Amantadine 3-5 mg/kg once a day
  • Opioids