The arthritis “triad” is a combination of THREE commonly used medications for canine arthritis discomfort. Tramadol is used WITH the other three medications in highly severe cases of osteoarthritis pain. Normally “triad” refers to the combination of Deramax, Methocarbamol and Gabapentin. Methocarbamol and Gabapentin have a WIDE therapeutic index but given together can make a dog kind of “out of it” at first.

The arthritis triad is given for 7 to 10 days. If the dog is MATERIALLY better on this regimen it tends to prove that the dog is experiencing chronic discomfort from various orthopedic issues including:

  1. Nerve Pain
  2. Inflammation
  3. Muscle spasm

If the methocarbamol and the gabapentin are given ‘apart’ from each other, say, 2-3 hours apart, there may be less ‘out of it’ behavior. Even if the behavior is slightly paretic and ‘out of it’ we see these symptoms depart rather quickly, 5-6 days, as the pet adapts to the medications.

Afterwards, the options are to:

  • Drop one medicine at a time with Deramax suspended LAST – to see which suspension returns the dog to discomfort.
  • Dose half-dose every day.
  • Dose the Q12 meds on the Q24 and the Deramax still Q24
  • Dose every OTHER day at full dose.

Author: Dr. Erik Johnson
Dr. Erik Johnson is the author of several texts on companion animal and fish health. Johnson Veterinary Services has been operating in Marietta, GA since 1996. Dr Johnson graduated from the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine in 1991. Dr Johnson has lived in Marietta Georgia since 1976.