Vicky Payne offers advice on helping dogs with arthritis.

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My 12-year-old dog has bad arthritis and struggles in the morning when she first gets up. I took her to the vet’s to see if there was anything I could do to help alleviate any pain. The vet has recommended a number of medications, but these don’t seem to agree with her and give her an upset stomach. Is there anything else we can use to manage her pain?

Vicky says: Ask your vet about referral for non-medical therapies such as hydrotherapy, physiotherapy, laser, or acupuncture.

Your vet should also be able to suggest supplements to support mobility. Herbal medicines can be useful too. Products containing turmeric are all the rage at the moment, but I strongly suggest consulting a vet trained in herbal medicines to obtain quality products that are safe for your dog.

If these complementary therapies are not enough, there is a new drug on the market that targets just one pain-causing prostaglandin and has very minimal side effects compared to traditional drugs. Weight control and moderate exercise are vital in any pain management programme too, so it’s worth checking your dog’s weight, and reviewing her exercise regime.

Vicky Payne — BVetMed, MRCVS is a holistic vet based in East Sussex.


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