Coritsone Injections for Arthritis Dogs

Arthritis dogs need to be taken good care of since they suffer of a condition that is not curable. However, the symptoms can be attenuated through care and attention. Arthritis is a progressive disease which appears in dogs as they age. It is a degenerative disease which affects the dog’s joints and it occurs mostly in large breeds. Veterinarians usually prescribe cortisone shots when a dog is diagnosed with arthritis. Even if cortisone is not a cure, it helps with pain relief.

Use of Cortisone in Arthritic Dogs

Cortisone is an anti-inflammatory drug used in dogs. It is a steroidal medication and has properties similar to those of cortisol, a natural hormone produced in the body (steroids are drugs derived from natural hormones released by the body).  

Since there is no known cure for arthritis in dogs, veterinarians prescribe cortisone injections to help deal with pain through reducing inflammation.

After being injected, cortisone stays in the pet’s body from 8 to 12 weeks. As levels of cortisone decrease, the dog might start experiencing arthritis pain again, even if the drug is still present in his system. The veterinarian can also prescribe over-the-counter, non-steroidal medication for the same purpose.

Side Effects of Cortisone Injections

Cortisone can have serious side effects, which may include:

  • Continuous thirst and frequent urination
  • Increased appetite
  • Mood changes: hyperactivity or depression
  • Diarrhea and digestive disorders

The long-term administration of cortisone can cause:

  • Immune system suppression
  • Liver and kidney conditions
  • Pancreas conditions
  • Adrenal glands disorders

Controlling Weight in Arthritic Dogs

Controlling weight and daily exercise helps improving the dog’s wellbeing. In obese dogs, the workload on joints and bones make the symptoms more severe. Therefore it is recommended that you put your dog on a diet and have him perform daily workout to help with this condition. 

You can also find diets on the market designed specifically for arthritic dogs, diets rich in supplements that are beneficial for joints. However, pay attention to the labels, as these diets are not necessarily low calories.

Other Means to Comfort Arthritic Dogs

Besides medication, you should also think of some other means to ease your pet’s pain when he has arthritis.

You should start with preparing a soft bed for your dog’s comfort.

Massaging and grooming your dog is also important. Usually older dogs suffering of this condition have a hard time cleaning themselves, so they require extra care.

They cannot move as fast as they used to, so you have to be more patient when taking your dog out for a walk.

Place plastic or wooden ramps to help your pet with the stairs and you can also put rugs or carpets in the areas where there are tiles or where the floor is slippery. For old dogs suffering from arthritis it is rather difficult to climb stairs and given that they have trouble coordinating their steps, they may get injured on slippery surfaces.