Canine Arthritis: Prevention, Reversal, Cutting Edge Management

by Mary Haight on July 27, 2015

canine arthritisCanine arthritis can be a dog’s worst nightmare. Do you know what pain looks like in your dog? Can you describe it so your vet understands the situation? There are subtle signs you might be missing.

Arthritis is often stealthy, sneaking up on you, little by little, until you notice your dog is having trouble with stairs or has lost interest in chasing the ball. By this time, pain has been making inroads in your dog’s daily life.

Are you waiting too long to get treatment? How can you better observe and report changes in your dog? These questions and many more are answered in our podcast with Drs Apryl Steele and Karyn Fein, Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist.

Canine Arthritis Prevention

We intuitively know that prevention is the best pathway to a healthy quality of life. Prevention starts at the beginning, wherever that may be for you. Don’t give up hope if you’ve adopted an eight-year-old dog!

If your dog has been diagnosed with arthritis, and can’t move or walk very far, there are therapies that can be used in combination to reverse these effects. We’ll touch on this in the next section, and you’ll find a detailed explanation in the podcast.

Food, supplements, weight control and consistent exercise are all part of prevention. Make sure your dog is getting enough protein and they keep a trim profile. Lean pets live longer as evidenced by a lifetime diet restriction study proving the point.

Young pups joints should not be overburdened with heavy-duty exercise, like agility. Their bones, joints, and cartilage are not ready to be used as required by that sport. The bigger the dog the longer it takes for development to occur, so have the conversation on what’s age and health appropriate to your dog with your vet. If in doubt, call the veterinarian before engaging in any special exercise program.

Reversing Arthritis Effects, Cutting Edge Management

Therapeutic ultrasound, cold laser, manual therapy by a trained physical therapist or vet, chiropractic adjustments, post electromagnetic field therapy, neutraceuticals like glucosamine and its injectable form, reiki, hydrotherapy, pharmaceuticals, and more are discussed during the podcast.

Dr. Steele also talks about what works for our cat friends.

Reversing the effects of canine arthritis is possible, even in advanced cases. Range of motion exercises relieves pain and can be taught by your vet or a canine therapist.

In a few months of this hands-on therapy, you can take a dog with many joint problems and severe arthritis in the spine from half-a-block walks, to hiking for a couple of miles with the family. Dr Fein shares this patient case with us.

This is the type of quality of life we all want for our dogs! You can reach Dr Fein at, and visit her site here: Rocky Mountain Veterinarian Rehabilitation. *Note: Updated web address is

Have you experienced canine arthritis in your life with dogs? What successes have you had with treatments? Did you discover any new therapies you think might work on your dog or cat? The doctor is in =)

(Photo: Public Domain)

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