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Living With Canine Osteoarthritis


Arthritis isn’t curable but can be managed effectively using treatments that focus on reducing pain and inflammation, slowing the progression of the disease, facilitating the repair of damaged tissues and maintaining or improving joint function. Vets may recommend a combination of the following:

  • Weight control
  • Dietary change
  • Controlled exercise and physical therapy
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Painkillers
  • Disease modifying agents
  • Nutritional joint supplements, such as Supleneo flex

Supleneo flex is a daily supplement, which is suitable for all breeds, sizes and ages of dog and contains the key ingredients that can improve joint health, such as glucosamine. In addition, Supleneo flex’s natural liver flavour means dogs love the taste, making it's easy and fun to give them their supplement every day. It is low calorie, so you can give it to your dog, instead of a treat.

For further information go to

Osteoarthritis can make life a little more challenging for your dog. However, there are number of tools at your disposal to enhance his quality of life, and you can cater to your dog's condition by making changes around the house. Here are some suggestions:

Non-skid floor surface. Osteoarthritis plays havoc with balance and falls become more likely. Equally bad, it makes your dog a bit scared to move. Make pathways of non-skid runners so that he can walk securely across slippery hardwood, tiles and linoleum surfaces.

Cushioned bedding. Provide cushioned islands at strategic areas in your house where your dog can sit or sleep comfortably. Make sure he has somewhere comfortable to spend the night.

Food and water above ground level. If you elevate your dog's food and water bowls, he won't need to bend to reach them. This can really help if he has osteoarthritis in his neck or forelegs, as he won't need to bend down to eat and drink.

Ramps. This may be a stretch for most households, but if you can introduce ramps to replace stairs, that will make your pet’s life easier. If not, just make sure that you provide assistance when he is negotiating stairs.

Heating pad. Warmth tends to help reduce pain and inflammation. A good quality heating pad can improve your dog's sleep. Always ensure that only part of the bedding is heated; your dog will move around to the spot with his ideal temperature.

Supervision. Your dog's condition makes him vulnerable in many ways. For example, he is at a major disadvantage if attacked by loose dogs at the dog park; also, he can get into trouble on her own chasing birds or wildlife. Regular supervision will help prevent this.

Nobody can predict all the circumstances in which osteoarthritis puts your dog at a disadvantage. But, if you make it a point to regularly consider situations from his point of view, you will usually recognise what might be difficult for him and take steps to remedy the situation.

A diagnosis of canine osteoarthritis often means that your responsibilities to your dog increase somewhat, but it is well within your ability to provide a good quality of life for your pet for years to come.

For further information about canine arthritis and canine arthritis treatment, including an on-line symptom checker please go to

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  1. My Aussie/Blue Heeler has been with me for 15 years,and underwent surgery a couple of years ago for a torn ligament in her RR leg; (Chasing the garbage truck down the fence and turned too suddenly) Due to illness I wasn’t able to do much to help during her recovery,but she is doing relatively well in spite of that. I’m planning to put down more area rugs,and try to arrange carpeted ramps on the steps into the yards. Her bed is right beside the furnace register in the bedroom,so she stays warm. Now she takes me for walks whenever she can. She pushes past me when I’m opening the gate,and starts off on her own route. If I try to catch up with her to clip a leash on her she speeds up a bit Left to her own compass she’ll usually go around half the block,down the alley and home,sniffing the ground,fences,posts,and anything else that interests her. I call it “reading the news”. I think the things I’ve already done have helped her a lot,and this article gave me a couple more ideas. I have to work with a pretty tight income,but except for special meds I can handle the rest. I never cease to marvel at her love for all the neighbors and her cheerful attitude. Makes me want to be a better person.

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