Arthritis in Dogs

Around 4 out of every 10 dogs have signs of arthritis pain. Arthritis is a condition that leads to pain and progressive degeneration of the joint. It affects many aspects of a dog’s life including limited mobility, painful joints, and a poor quality of life. Signs can often be subtle, and dogs will rarely yelp, cry, or vocalise the pain they are experiencing. It is therefore important to look out for signs like limping, slowing down on walks, slow to rise and difficulty jumping. While many cases of arthritis occur in older, overweight, and larger breed dogs, the condition can affect dogs of all sizes, ages, and breeds.

The signs and symptoms of arthritis in dogs

  • Stiffness, especially after exercise
  • Intermittent lameness
  • Reluctance to move
  • Swollen and painful joints
  • Lethargy and increased sleeping
  • Weight gain
  • Irritability and depression
  • Loss of appetite

What causes canine arthritis?

The term ‘arthritis’ is used for any abnormal changes to a joint. Canine arthritis is most common in older dogs that are often but not always unfit and overweight. It may affect fit and healthy dogs from an early age, due to problems with the development of the bones and joints, though this is more unusual. The symptoms are often worse in cold or damp conditions.


We normally recommend a multimodal treatment using as many of the following as we can:

  • Weight reduction
  • Anti-inflammatories, normally non-steroidal (NSAIDS)
  • Special Joint Diets with high omega 3
  • Canine Joint supplements 
  • Laser therapy
  • Physiotherapy and hydrotherapy

A unique new treatment for arthritis in dogs!

There is a new very specialised monoclonal antibody given as a monthly injection called Librela.  Librela works differently from NSAIDs by specifically targeting Nerve Growth Factor (NGF), a key player in osteoarthritis pain. It functions like naturally occurring antibodies in the body. Dogs experience increased mobility and decreased pain after the first injection. Librela is safe to use and can be used alongside other medications.

We have had very good results using Librela on our patients. If you would like to discuss how Librela could help your dog, please call us.