Canine Arthritis Treatment with Chondroitin

Many pet owners will face the decision of canine arthritis treatment methods over the course of their animal's lifetime. Arthritis is a degenerative condition that typically affects older dogs and large breeds. This condition results in inflammation and pain of the joints and can severely inhibit your pet's mobility and quality of life. While the disease itself is incurable, there are a number of methods of addressing the symptoms and slowing the spread of arthritis. Certain treatments can actually work to reverse the damaging effects of arthritis. Chondroitin is one of the most commonly prescribed of these treatment methods.

Chondroitin Overview

Chondroitin is a nutraceutical, or a nutritional supplement that is used for curative and medicinal purposes. Rather than work to slow the progression of your dog's arthritis, chondroitin supplements act to promote regrowth of connective tissue around the joints. Specifically, chondroitin stimulates the production of cartilage and fluid in the joints that, in turn, help to maintain joint integrity over time and may even repair damaged joints.

As a nutraceutical, chondroitin is not approved for use by the FDA. In fact, it is not even a prescription drug, and can be purchased over the counter at pet stores and pharmacies. Before you consider administering chondroitin to your pet, consult with a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment recommendation. Chondroitin is available in a number of generic forms and also in brand names drugs like Restor-A-Flex.

Treating Your Pet with Chondroitin

Chondroitin is available as a tablet supplement in a variety of different concentrations and dosages. To figure out which of these options may be best for your dog, have him examined by a veterinarian. Based on his symptoms and other tests, your vet will determine whether your dog may be suffering from arthritis. If this is the case, the next step is to consult with the veterinarian in order to determine the proper treatment method.

Selecting your pet's dosage depends upon the severity of condition, his breed, age and weight. Your veterinarian may also take into account your pet's prior health and other conditions. After first recommending a dose of chondroitin, your veterinarian will schedule follow-up appointments in order to monitor your dog's condition. He will then adjust the dosage as appropriate.

Chondroitin is not associated with severe side effects. The supplement itself is considered safe for use in all animals. In rare cases, it can cause mild digestive problems like vomiting and discomfort. If this occurs, speak with your vet about adjusting your pet's dose or finding another treatment program.

Chondroitin is rarely, if ever, used as a solitary treatment for canine arthritis. While it can help to reverse the effects of this condition, most vets will also recommend medications to address the other symptoms and pain associated with the disease. Lifestyle changes and dietary adjustments can also help to moderate the effects of canine arthritis. Through a combination of these methods, you and your vet can work to relieve your pet of the pain and discomfort associated with canine arthritis.