Ask the vet: Easing arthritis

RACQ, in partnership with Animal Welfare League Queensland, can help solve your pet problems.

RACQ, in partnership with Animal Welfare League Queensland, can help solve your pet problems.

Got a curly problem with your favourite pooch? Is your cat being too catty?

While animals can bring much joy into our lives, they are not always problem free. If there is an animal issue that you need help to solve, send your question to via RACQ to the Animal Welfare League Queensland experts, to find the answer.

Easing arthritis

We got Flame, a 14-year-old staffy around a year ago. She is a great dog but I have noticed that she is in a bit of pain and is a little stiff. The vet says she has arthritis. I’m looking for an economical way to treat her condition. Is there a special diet we can give her? Are there other cheap ways to help her have a more comfortable life?

AWLQ experts say

One of the most important (and the cheapest) ways to treat arthritis is to make sure your dog is not overweight.

This can be done by regulating food intake and managing exercise so that her joints get good range of motion movement but not too much.

There are a multitude of food supplements that seem to help with the preservation of joint cartilage and fluid. Things like fish oil, green lipped mussel, chondroitin, and glucosamine are included in some of these products which are available from pet stores and vets. Some may be cheaply purchased at the supermarket. Do ask your vet first before using products designed for humans. Some dog foods are especially designed for joint health as well.

If she is particularly sore she can go on a course of anti-inflammatory/pain relief drugs, but these can be expensive and are not good to be on long term. Some dogs just need them intermittently, for example during a cold couple of weeks in winter.

A drug called Synovan (or Cartrophen) can be of particular benefit. This is another disease modifying anti-osteoarthritis drug designed to help slow degeneration of joints. This is given by injection, usually one a week for four weeks to start with, then monthly. It generally is not that expensive (check with your vet) and many people believe it really helps their pet.

What’s your question?

Send your pet questions to and Animal Welfare League Queensland‘s experts will provide the answers. Letters will not receive an individual reply and should be no more than 120 words.

AWLQ work with local councils, state government, rescue groups and the community to improve the outcomes for stray and surrendered pets.