Dog Elbow Arthritis Treatment Suggestions

by Mrs. Coles

Reader Question: Best treatment and medications for dog elbow arthritis.

My 9 year old dog has suspected elbow arthritis (vet). He limps in the evening, sometimes badly if we have walked for longer (I have several dogs & we have always walked for 1-2 hours in split walks over soft ground). The patient has just been commenced on Meloxidyl which is giving good relief, but I am concerned about the long term side effects.

Is there a mild pain killer equivalent to Paracetamol in humans that might also give good relief but with fewer risks? Another concern is that my dog is extremely nervous & it is an ordeal taking him to the surgery just for regular review every 8 weeks which I gather is necessary with Meloxidyl.

NB Of course very happy to take him when his health needs indicate vet assessment!

I am going to look into Glucosamine/Chondroitin, but wonder about other mainstream medication.

Many thanks.

Veterinarian Suggestion for Dog Elbow Arthritis treatment


Paracetamol can be a very dangerous drug. It has a narrow margin of safety, meaning that you can run into big problems if you give your dog just a little too much.

Meloxidyl is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory. This class of drugs is also not without safety concerns (e.g. gastrointestinal ulcers and liver damage) but most dogs can take them over the long term without problem as long as they are monitored appropriately.

The goal should always be to take the lowest dose that provides good pain relief. Adding in some other therapies (glucosamine/chondroitin, weight loss, physical therapy, cold laser treatments, etc.) is a good way to reduce the amount of the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory needed to keep the patient comfortable and active.

Best of luck,

Jennifer Coates, DVM

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