In traditional veterinary medicine, the usual treatment for arthritis in companion animals is drugs, specifically non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) and opioid painkillers.
But there are a number of other helpful remedies available for pets with compromised liver or kidney function, as well as pets belonging to owners who don’t want to risk side effects and potential toxicity.
Glycosaminoglycan (glucosamine) has gained acceptance in most mainstream vet practices, as has acupuncture.
According to Nancy Scanlan, DVM, writing for Veterinary Practice News:
“Because complementary medicine acts in many different ways, rather than being various versions of the same basic action (as opposed to COX-2 inhibitors), practitioners often will find that using a number of different items works better than trying a single method.
The use of supplements that decrease cartilage degradation, reduce inflammation and help with muscle spasms - rather than just looking to decrease joint pain - often give the best long-term effects. Add physical therapy to increase flexibility and muscle strength, and the maximum benefit will be given.”