Bone and Joint Medication for Dogs

Old age or even surgery should not keep a good dog down. Without walkers or wheelchairs at their disposal, dogs still need to be able to get up and around despite the pain of chronic diseases or surgery. Often, dietary supplements and bone and joint medications are their best hope.


One in five dogs in the United States is afflicted with osteoarthritis, making it one of the most common chronic diseases for dogs. This condition damages the dog’s cartilage or other joints.

Sometimes even an attentive owner can miss the signs of arthritis, so ask yourself: Is your dog slowing down? Stiff and slow to rise? Gaining weight or sleeping more? These are all signs that could point to arthritis. A physical exam and an X-ray can help diagnose the problem.

Treatments often involve Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) to control the pain and inflammation of osteoarthritis. NSAIDs are also given after surgery to help the dog get up and around sooner. An active dog will be healthier and live longer.

Deramaxx Chewable Tablets, an NSAID from the coxib class, help control the pain of both osteoarthritis and bone surgery. These beef-flavored tablets are chewable and available in three strengths.

Another NSAID, Etogesic, also reduces the pain and soreness from osteoarthritis in dogs. Etogesic is not suitable for dogs under 11 pounds. It is generally well-tolerated and is also available in three strengths.

Meloxicam is an oral NSAID that will help control the pain and improve the dog’s ability to get around. This oral syrup should be given with food. The medication is available in five dropper bottle sizes. The syrup should be placed directly onto the food of dogs smaller than 10 pounds. It can be administered directly into the mouth of larger dogs.

Firocoxib, an oral NSAID for dogs, is designed to improve a dog’s mobility. The chewable medication can be given with or without food. Firocoxib is available in two strengths.

Rimadyl (carprofen) is another NSAID to treat dogs’ arthritis pain and inflammation. It is also indicated to help control postoperative pain. It is available in three strengths as a chewable tablet or caplet, and can be taken with or without food. Tests show most dogs find the medication palatable.

Zubrin (tepoxalin) is another NSAID to control pain and inflammation due to osteoarthritis. Place this fast-dissolving tablet in the dog’s mouth, holding the mouth closed for four or five seconds to ensure the tablet disperses. It should be given with food or within one or two hours of eating. It is available in three strengths.


In addition to medications, there are many supplements that can improve the quality of life of your dog.

Adequan Canine is an intramuscular injection that helps control non-infectious degenerative or traumatic arthritis in dogs. It is a semi-synthetic glycosaminoglycan made from bovine cartilage.

Arthogen for dogs contains glucosamine and chondroitin, which help rebuild damaged joint cartilage. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that will gradually improve your dog’s health. Arthogen can be …