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Dog Knee Pain Management

by Teri Harris
(Pampa, tx)

Reader Question on Dog Pain Relief:


My 12 yr old standard schnauzer had an ACL repair 3 yrs ago and up until recently had been doing well. He is now self mutilating in two spots. He hates taking the tramadol tabs and the novox gives him an upset tummy every few days.

I asked my vet for topical Lidocaine. Are there any better topical compounds that could better manage his pain that our vet could prescribe? The lido helps but only short-term of course.

I am in human medicine so I am familiar with drugs and pain management. My spouse is also in medicine and he thinks we should just put him to sleep. When his pain is under control our dog is happy and still has alot of life and love in him.

Is there any guidance u can give me?


Response From Our Veterinarian on Dog Pain Relief


Hello Teri,

If your dog were my patient and he had no other health conditions that might affect my decision making, I would first try him on a different nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory. Individuals will sometimes have adverse reactions like nausea to one type of NSAID but not another. Options to consider are deracoxib, etodolac, firocoxib, and meloxicam always given at the lowest effective dose.

If your dog cannot tolerate NSAIDs or alone they do not provide adequate relief, I would mostly likely add either gabapentin or amantadine to his treatment protocol. Adequan injections would be worth a try… in addition to, not instead of the pain relievers. Complementary therapies like acupuncture and cold laser treatment also help some dogs with osteoarthritis.


Best of luck,
Jennifer Coates, DVM

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