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Arthritis treatments for an old dog

Our customer asked:

My 14 year old Stafford has developed Arthritis in her rear left leg,she limps and it takes her some time to sit down.Are there any non-prescription products that you have available that might be equivalent in benefit to her as NSAID's which obviously are prescription drugs.She has been on Glucosamine and Devils claw and I haven't seen any improvement.

Our reply:

The main non-prescription products which can be used are the glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate products, such as Seraquin and Yumove. (Adequate doses continued for a few weeks might be needed to see any benefit, but they do not always work for every dog.) Devil's Claw is claimed to have some anti-inflammatory effects but these are not scientifically proven to my knowledge, and are probably variable (at best), from one batch to another. The most effective treatments are generally the prescription NSAIDs, assuming your diagnosis is correct. It is possible to give Pardale-V for a few days, which is non-prescription, though it is not recommended for continuous use. This does have some anti-inflammatory as well as analgesic effect.

Other than that, it helps to provide regular but gentle exercise with nothing too excited or prolonged. Carrying excess weight can also be a big problem for dogs like this, so the food portions might have to be restricted a bit. If problems persists or are causing any distress, then it is best to see your vet who will be able to advise you with specific reference to your own dog's diagnosis.

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Sunday 20th January 2013