Harv has arthritis

What have you done to help your dog cope with arthritis?

  • Medical - surgery

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters


Hi all,

Harvey has recently been diagnosed with arthritis.

As I suspect many of you have done, I'm searching around on the internet trying to find what works and what doesn't in terms of reducing pain and inflammation. I'm also putting together a blog post to summarise everything that I find.

Would you mind sharing what you have found to work? Feel free to pick more than one option.
(Please provide a little information about your dog too if you are happy to share)

Sky has been on Yumove tablets for quite a few years - we started these before the arthritis diagnosis but we suspected that’s what she had. Salmon Oil. Now Meloxidyl and Tramadol. Unfortunately she can only walk very short distances (although sometimes surprises us) and is gaining weight, lost her lovely body shape. On the whole she is happy and still has a good quality of life but it’s very much a rollercoaster ride. She’ll be 13 in December and this year has had it’s difficulties
Our vet physio said that for dogs that have difficulty getting up, a soft bed makes it more difficult. She recommended a raised “trampoline” bed with something soft on it (foam, blankets). Then, the dog can slide down to get off the bed, rather than having to haul themselves up off a low soft bed.

We don’t have the space inside for that kind of bed so we bought a thick, firm piece of foam that was quite high. Snowie refused to lie on it!!!!! And it was expensive!! He prefers his skinny bed with blankets.


Fife, Scotland
Ticked them all apart from surgery which now Lilly is 9 won't be on the agenda.
Fish oil supplements and grain free good quality food for most of her life.
Hydrotherapy regularly for most of this time.
Last few years Yumove.
Initially regular NSAID now just prn.
Recently invested in an orthopaedic bed.
Can't see ramps going down well, just a bad back for me.
Cassie is 14 and for a year now she has been on metacam. She had been diagnosed with arthritis when she was 10/11. I started her on yumove, I don't know whether it helped as within six months I looked into yumove plus to discover it could only be purchased at the vets, now it doesn't need a prescription so on a principal I would not waste my money on it.
I changed her to green lipped mussel (human box capsules), I did see an improvement in her wanting to move. At her next check up at the vets, we discussed turmeric and started adding turmeric/pepper to her green lipped mussel.
Last year I did notice a lot more slowing down and with my vet decided to try metacam. I stopped all supplements.

Ramps are a no go, drive a landrover discovery (old style) ramp is toooo steep.
I tried steps to allow her easier access to sofa but she ignored them and jumps up.

I do recommend that a dog who's slowing down has their nails trimmed regularly ( this is a major issue with Cassie as she doesn't like her nails being cut) especially as in our case, there is no carpets. I have added more rugs to prevent slipping.

If Cupar ever has signs of arthritis, I shall go straight to green lipped mussel and turmeric, I definitely noticed a difference.
Scooby was very stiff and wobbly when he came to us. I gave him glucosamine & chondroitin supplements & omega-3 supplements (both on vets advice). He had a big memory-foam crumb bed and gentle walks with sea swimming allowed. Anecdotally, his stiffness did seem to reduce and he certainly enjoyed his walks.
Oh, Harv...he seems way too young for arthritis. :(

Brogan was on green-lipped mussel powder and Omega-3. I also home-cooked (low carb/high protein) but that wasn't for arthritis per se. Also from the time he had his first TPLO (5 years old) I lifted him in an out of the car. When I bought my car here in Germany, I specifically bought one that was low enough for him to get into/out of on his own with no jumping.

Brogan wanted to sleep on the hard bare floor and there was no convincing him otherwise. Luckily Carbon now greatly enjoys the expensive bed I bought for Brogan. ;)

At the very end I used a harness to help him get up from the floor.

We never stopped our long walks, they just got slower. I think keeping them moving is important for them...and us. :)
Meant to add, Sky still has the bed she has always had - a hard plastic one with vet bed lining - two layers. I have tried various bedding for her but she just prefers the bed she’s always had. I have a folded towel by the back door to stop her slipping on the tiles. This works well and also dries both dogs paws somewhat if they have been on the wet lawn. She prefers the hard tiled floors in the house when it’s warm/hot and stretches out. F lifts her in and out the car - she is too heavy for me but she’ll let him do it. I have considered various harnesses but she wouldn’t like them I know (she’s never ever had a harness). I do put an arthritis aware bandana on her but often forget. As many people now are commenting on how slow she has got, it’s pretty obviousl she has arthritis including the snail’s pace we generally move at. I think most people are mindful of this with their dogs but we are very protective of her by being extra observant. I can’t remember how old Harvey is but Sky’s symptoms started when she was 9 and arthritis confirmed at 10.


East Sussex
My last dog Rolo (Lab) developed arthritis aged 13. I thought we'd come to the end of the road as he couldn't get up and was crying with pain but Metacam transformed his life. He was on it daily for 18 months till the end of his life and it meant he happily went for walks, jumped on the sofa and appeared pain-free. We were lucky in that Metacam didn't cause him any side effects. (He had blood tests for liver and kidney function.)
I'm very sorry that Harvey has arthritis.


Sorry to hear about poor Harv, but there are lots of things that can be done to help.

In addition to the points you noted in the poll, I also found the following to be very helpful: Make sure he is completely dried off after swimming; a doggy dressing-gown for instance is perfect. Physiotherapy and massage. Cover any slippery floors with carpet or non-slip rugs. Make sure his bed is sheltered from any draughts.

I also taught my dogs to put their front feet up on the back of the car, and then I sort of hoik their back end up into the car, so they don't have to jump up.


Pentosan/Cartrophen/Zydax....aka Pentosan Polysulfate....has helped both my dogs. Obi is on it - 4 injections 1 week apart every 6 months. Makes a significant difference to him. He has a bit of arthritis in his right hip joint.
Sorry that Harvey has arthritis, I don't have experience of this but I have met a lot of owners who use hydrotherapy and swear by it.
It seems there is quite a lot available to help dogs - big hugs to Harvey.
So sorry Harvey has this but there are lots of options out there.
I ticked them all apart from surgery.
Hydrotherapy once a month helps keep the muscle tissue plus he loves it!
I use golden paste in his food to reduce inflammation
Yumove tablets
We used stem cell as he is so young and it has helped but it does require minor surgery when they harvest the cells.
Laser therapy (short term) when he is really stiff but this lasts only 2 to 3 days
Weight control - the lighter they are, the less stress on their joints
No jumping in/out cars (I still need to find a decent ramp but my little 150 cm body can still lift a 26 kg Lab!)
Absolutely No Ball throwing!
No jumping on/off our bed/fences etc
Carpet runners on all our tiles/wooden floor to stop slipping
4 small walks (30 mins) each day (on leash)
Novacam when he has a bad day
Healthy low FAT snacks
Home made broth frozen Kong for the calagon
Reduced playing with other dogs as the jumping irritates his joints :'(
My list is endless....
I think you have to work out what helps your dog and what works best. It will always be a Work in Progress:heart:


Bristol, UK
Like you, I have spent a lot of time over the past 2 months researching for Harley. We have changed her diet and she has lost over 2kg. She still has 1-1.5kg to go (she’s 29.9kg at present). We’ve added tumeric and green lipped mussel supplements to her food each day. She goes to hydrotherapy weekly, has massage monthly, physio every 10 weeks and laser treatment every 3 months. I have already noticed a vast improvement in her not limping as much, but couldn’t say exactly which of the things we are doing is helping most. She also seems to be a bit more energetic over the past 4 weeks which is great to see. At home, laminate is covered with vet bed. She still jumps on the sofa and bed. My new car is very low so she can just step into it which is great. She has an orthopaedic bed, but rarely goes on it.
I’ve also found cool mats have helped.
It’s good to hear what things work for different dogs, and I hope you find what works for Harvey 🐶