This article is from the Canine Medical Information FAQ, by Cindy Tittle Moore with numerous contributions by others.
In many cases, simple restriction of exercise and perhaps aspirin as
directed by the vet is all that the dog needs to remain comfortable.
However, there are several options for the more severely affected
Non-traditional treatments (not validated by controlled trials):
* vitamin therapy (generally Vitamins C & E & selenium)
* superoxide dismutase
Medical therapy (aimed at reducing pain/inflammation from arthritic
* adequan therapy
"Adequan is a polysulfated glycosaminoglycan which is used
primarily for treatment of degenerative joint disease in horses. In
fact, it is not actually approved in the U.S. for dogs. However, I
have seen remarkable results in many of my older patients with
chronic DJD. In theory, it stimulates increased production of joint
fluid and the joint moves more freely and with less pain. It does
not always work, but when it does, it is usually dramatic." -Ralph
M. Askren, DVM
* Gycoflex, Cosequin (a synthetic glycosaminoglycans supplement)
glucosamin -- similar effects to Adequan
* Rimadyl -- a new non-steriod anti-inflammatory drug, can help
considerably in some cases without the typical side effects of
traditional steroidal drugs.