While Osteoarthritis (OA) is often only considered an issue for senior pets, it can be crucial to catch the signs early and begin preventative care. This blog provides an overview of OA and an outline example of OA care from one of our Vets, Dr. Loeffler. 


According to the American Kennel Club, OA can be defined as “a progressively worsening inflammation of the joint caused by the deterioration of cartilage.” Osteoarthritis is often also referred to as Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD).

They go on to offer additional explanation: “In a healthy joint, cartilage acts as a cushion to allow the joint to move smoothly through its full range of motion. In cases of osteoarthritis, this cartilage cushion begins to break down because of factors such as age, injury, repetitive stress, or disease. The loss of this protective cushion results in pain, inflammation, decreased range of motion, and the development of bone spurs. While any joint in the body can develop osteoarthritis, the condition most commonly affects the limbs and lower spine.”


It’s important to understand that OA is NOT effectively treated with a “One-&-Done” solution. We recommend treating OA with a combination of supplements, medications, and treatments.

Dr. Loeffler has provided the following outline as a reference for our clients. This is the complete list of all the steps she takes to help treat OA in her dog Nemo, a 3-year-old, 118-lb Leonberger. We have attached links to each of the items below to assist in your research and understanding. 


  1. Myos Muscle Supplement 
  2. Dasuquin Joint Health Supplement 
  3. “1-TDC” Joint Care Supplement 
  4. HyaFlex Pro Advanced Joint Care Supplement 
  5. Movoflex Joint Supplement 


  1. Adequan Canine Injections – Adequan Canine is the only FDA-approved disease-modifying osteoarthritis drug. It can help prevent further degradation of the joints, and may even slow the progression of OA. Adequan is dosed via two injections twice weekly for one month (8 injections total) with recommended repeated dosing approximately every 6 months. 
  2. Carprofen – This is a medication indicated for the “relief of pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis and for the control of postoperative pain associated with soft tissue and orthopedic surgeries in dogs.” Nemo takes these chewable tablets once daily to help with his joints. Talk with your Vet to find out if this medication is right for your pet. 


  1. Physical Therapy and Underwater Treadmill Hydrotherapy – Bi-Weekly (see photos below)
  2. Laser Therapy – Bi-Weekly
  3. Acupuncture Therapy – Monthly
  4. Routine Bloodwork — Dr. Loeffler also makes sure to recheck Nemo’s blood work regularly to make sure he is healthy, well-balanced, and able to continue his regimen. 

Dr. Loeffler would also like to note that one of the best things you can do for a pet with joint issues is to maintain an ideal weight. Even just a few extra pounds can cause a lot of extra stress on the joints. If you’re interested in a specific diet plan that is healthy for your pet’s weight while also helping their joints, Dr. Loeffler would recommend Hill’s J/D or Purina J/M. 

We highly recommend discussing a specific OA treatment plan for your unique pet with your Vet before starting any supplements, medication, or treatments. Give our office a call to schedule a consultation with your Vet today. 


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