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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 10920
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
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Any suggestions for arthritis in back leg for a 13 year old

Customer Question

Any suggestions for arthritis in back leg for a 13 year old lab?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 3 years ago.

-Hello Joan, I'm Dr. Deb. I'll do my best to help you today.

I'm sorry for this concern for Clyde but I'm not surprised that he might have some arthritis at his age, especially given his breed.

When it comes to options for arthritis, we primarily have proactive supplements (which are intended to prevent progression of disease) and reactive drugs (which can treat the pain/discomfort and inflammation associated with this condition).

However, alternative therapies such as hydrotherapy, laser therapy, massage therapy and even acupuncture have been shown to be very useful for joint problems.

Supplement options:

1. I’m a huge fan of joint supplements such as Dasaquin or Cosequin which are veterinary products specifically formulated for dogs. Quality control is a big problem with these products since what’s on the label is not necessarily what’s in the bottle which is why I mentioned specific brands. These are available on the internet.

2. Also, fish oil supplements can be helpful since they have anti-inflammatory properties. Welactin and 3V Derm Caps are good veterinary products and are also available on the internet.

It takes several weeks for these products to build up in the system, so you might not see immediate results. But once started, these supplements should be continued for them to be effective; you wouldn't stop and start them, in other words, like you would drugs...but you may already know this.

3. Another option would be Zeel which is a human combination homeopathic that can be used in conjunction with other NSAID medications and has a very low incidence of adverse effects. Dose would be one tablet two to three times a day....I'd go with three times a day for the first 2 weeks, then drop back to twice a day for maintenance.

Drug options:


1. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Aspirin can be very useful in the early stages of arthritis. Dose would be 10 mg/lb twice a day, with food to avoid stomach upset.

Many dogs will require stronger nsaid drugs as the condition advances and these drugs are usually dispensed by a vet...Rimadyl, Deramaxx, Previcoxx or Metacam.


2. Pain medication such as Tramadol or Gapapentin can also be dispensed and used with nsaid medication but is usually reserved for more advanced cases.


Drugs can be used intermittently and on an as-needed basis although most dogs will eventually require daily medication to keep them comfortable and pain-free.


I hope this helps. Deb

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thankyou for that

Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 3 years ago.

You're more than welcome.

I've seen so many dogs respond positively to supplements such that drugs only need to be given least in the early phases of arthritis. Of course, not all dogs respond to supplements (just like humans) but hopefully, Clyde will:)

Best of luck with him:) Regards, Deb