Is your dog living with osteoarthritis? Have you considered pain management to help your dog move? As veterinarians, we can work with you to establish a comprehensive osteoarthritis plan for your dog. There are medication combinations and non-drug options to treat osteoarthritis pain.
Medication combinations might be instituted as part of a comprehensive pain management program. NSAIDS (non steroidal anti inflammatories) such as Rimadyl, Metacam or others in this drug category used to be prescribed as stand alone drugs. Current research indicates that NSAIDS combined with other drugs provide more effective pain management in dogs. Chronic pain management, adding in neuromodulation as part of the multi-modal pain management protocol may bring added relief. Gabapentin at effective doses is a neuromodulator.
Other medications to consider include amantadine, muscle relaxants (methocarbamol), adequan and tramadol. Multi-modal pain management often allows your veterinarian to use lower doses of each drug category, inhibiting the various pain pathways.
Non-drug treatments include heat and cold therapy, acupuncture, weight management programs, massage, range of motion rehabilitation, therapeutic exercise, neuro-electrical stimulation, trigger point therapy, home care and home modification recommendations.
Movement enables our dogs to exercise and rebuild muscle mass lost due to inactivity caused by pain. Exercise itself can decrease pain, enhancing the quality of life for our canine companions. Conditioning increases strength, improves balance and flexibility and improves body weight. After rebuilding muscles mass, some dogs can even stop their pain medications for years.
Give us a call to learn more about helping your dog with osteoarthritis!