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There is a period of time in the life of a dog where it has arthritis but not very severely. It just needs “a little help.
Keeping in mind that dogs are aging seven times faster than we are, you realize that the period of time where they just need a little help is kind of brief. But during that time there are two things you can do that are:

  1. Safe
  2. Over the counter
  3. Not very expensive

For mild arthritis.

One of those is glucosamine chondroitin sulfate. There are lots of products out there including human version is that your dog could take, across the board to premium priced Cosequin and Dasequin. As well as the superior Phycox product.

Phycox is superior because it contains multivitamins and anti-inflammatories along with a hearty dose of glucosamine chondroitin.

Another thing you might consider doing is using some CBD, or cannabidiol, cannabis therapy which over the course of three or four weeks will bind up certain pain receptors and inflammatory cytokines in the body and reduce the impact of inflammation and arthritis. I have a ton of information on my website about Cannabidiol. CBD.

Finally, the intent of this article is to step you through the potentially safe use of aspirin for dogs.

First let me say that “aspirin” is inherently not safe for dogs. It will almost always burn the stomach. Therefore I strenuously recommend that if you use a SPECIFIC form of aspirin, that it would be a BUFFERED type of aspirin (Click).

And I do NOT mean enteric coated. The dog’s GI Tract is half as long as yours and by the time the ‘enteric coated’ aspirin is through the system, it’s barely dissolved.

DO NOT USE ENTERIC COATED ASPIRIN!!

Finding buffered aspirin is harder and harder all the time. You need to see THIS on the label:

Aspirin for dogs should be "buffered" with carbonates.
Aspirin for dogs should be “buffered” with carbonates.

Aspirin Use In Dogs – How Much?

An effective dose of aspirin for dogs is 5 mg per pound per day.

That means a 60+ pound dog would get one adult 325mg aspirin per day.

A 5 pound dog would get less than half of a baby aspirin.

A baby aspirin is 81 mg. (Not available at all, in buffered)

An adult aspirin is 325 mg. (Click)

Aspirin Use In Dogs – How Often?

It is important NOT to give aspirin more than four days a week because aspirin decreases the quantity AND quality of platelets in the dogs body which may contribute to stomach ulceration as well as easy bleeding.

When we had my dog Buster on aspirin, we used it on Friday Saturday Sunday and Monday and left him off that medicine Tuesday through Thursday. He was his most active on the weekends so that made the most sense.

It will not be long before aspirin compounds are inadequate to control arthritis. It is true for humans as well, and they eventually end up on Aleve or Celebrex or something stronger.

Dogs are no exception, usually aspirin is “enough“ for a year or less.

Then, we start some stronger medicines on an “as needed basis” and then eventually as they age we use more and more medicine of more and more kinds. Nothing particularly expensive, most things are very safe, we can get a dog walking comfortably out to 18 years old most of the time.

All of the above is predicated on the dog not being fat.

Fat dogs are simply going to suffer with arthritis whether you give them medicine or not. It is just physically and mechanically painful to carry a lot of weight when you are old.

It is rare to find an owner who will acknowledge that their pet is overweight, let alone do something about it. Therefore, medications to combat arthritis are always extremely in demand.

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Dr Erik Johnson

Dr Erik Johnson is a Marietta, Georgia Veterinarian with a practice in small animal medicine. He graduated from University of Georgia with his Doctorate in 1991. Dr Johnson is the author of several texts on Koi and Pond Fish Health and Disease as well as numerous articles on dog and cat health topics.

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