How We Solved Our Dog's Arthritis Problem

Our family adopted Megan, a beautiful Australian Shepherd, three years ago when she was five years old. She was leash-trained, crate-trained, well-behaved and a delight - and still is.

As with many pet owners, we spoil her rotten. We sometimes feed her treats she probably shouldn't have and being the fabulous dog she is, she eats everything on her plate. So, she's overweight - like the rest of the family, I might add. Also, I know she doesn't get the exercise she needs. Again, like the rest of the family.

Over the past couple of months we have noticed that Megan has been having difficulty moving around. We have laminate floors and it's often difficult for her to get a good footing anyway when getting up. Now it's even more difficult and when she does get up, she walks stiffly. Going up and down our few front porch steps also seems to pose a challenge for her. When she goes outside she lately has been doing her business much closer to the house than before (we live on a hill).

We suspected that our Australian Shepherd had arthritis. Coincidentally, I also have arthritis in my knees. About a year ago I began taking a glucosamine and chondroitin vitamin supplement and it has helped a lot. So, I thought, can dogs take this same joint supplement?

I did some research and discovered that dogs can take joint supplements. Actually I read that dogs could have the people version but I opted to look for a chewable supplement.

Megan has been taking Sergeant's Vetscription Joint-Eze for a month now. It was the only glucosamine and chondroitin joint supplement available for dogs in my local grocery store so I decided to try it. For the first three weeks, according to her weight, she was on four chewables a day. Starting this last week, she takes two per day. She loves the taste and looks upon the vitamins as treats.

Megan seems to be feeling much more spry. She'll actually hop up a little when a treat is presented and she is running around more than she has been lately. She is still a little stiff when she gets up - but then again, so am I!

I highly recommend trying a glucosamine and chondroitin joint supplement for your dog if you feel arthritis may be an issue. Of course, consulting the veterinarian first is quite important to rule out other problems.

More by this Author

Comments 14 comments

Esmeowl12 profile image

Esmeowl12 3 years ago from Sevierville, TN Author

I so agree. "Pilling" anybody is not fun at all.

superfly47 profile image

superfly47 3 years ago from Canada

It's good that your dog enjoys the glucosamine supplement as forcing dogs to swallow supplements they don't like isn't fun for anyone.

Esmeowl12 profile image

Esmeowl12 5 years ago from Sevierville, TN Author

Thanks, Cara. It's definitely worth a try.

Cara.R profile image

Cara.R 5 years ago from New York

I'm trying to get my sister to give this to her dog. I think Chloe would benefit from a joint supplement. I'll have to get her to read your hub too!

Esmeowl12 profile image

Esmeowl12 5 years ago from Sevierville, TN Author

What a sweet story, Gypsy! I've always been a "cat" person myself, too, but I also love all animals.

Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 5 years ago from Riga, Latvia

Hats off to Megan! Glad she's doing better. We've always been cat people but I love all animals anyway. A long time ago my aunt in Michigan had an old German shephard and he poor thing had arthritis in his hind quarters. I forgot what the gave him but he could walk about alright however he couldn't climb stairs. They had an upstairs entrance and a downstairs entrance which led into the basement. This poor dog when he wound up in the basement tried to get upstairs using the stairs. Once when my mom and I were visiting I was the only one who bothered to help him get upstairs. He learned quickly that he could depend on me. So he put his front legs on a stair and I lifted up the hind quarters. Took us awhile but we made it up and he loved me helping him. When we left I felt so sorry for him because he'd once again be left with a major problem - the stairs. He's been in heaven now for a long time but I still remember my trusting friend.

Esmeowl12 profile image

Esmeowl12 5 years ago from Sevierville, TN Author

Thanks, Donna! I appreciate your comments.

DonnaCosmato profile image

DonnaCosmato 5 years ago from USA

Good information and good reminder to those of us that are carrying a little too much weight that we need to get it off. What a beautiful girl Meagan is!

These supplements really helped our Lost Boy as did losing weight. Voted up and shared:)

Esmeowl12 profile image

Esmeowl12 5 years ago from Sevierville, TN Author

Thanks, Ithabise! I appreciate your comments!

Esmeowl12 profile image

Esmeowl12 5 years ago from Sevierville, TN Author

Jaye, you are so right about the weight and exercise issues. We have been working with our vet to help Megan with that. Hopefully there will be a time when we no longer need the supplements but until then, they work great!

Esmeowl12 profile image

Esmeowl12 5 years ago from Sevierville, TN Author

Thanks for your comments, maddot. Let me know what you find out about the origins of our sweet dog. I just assumed she was "from" Australia since she's an Australian Shepherd. I'm glad the shots worked for you. Hopefully we can use the supplements for awhile.

maddot profile image

maddot 5 years ago from Northern NSW, Australia

Being a dog lover and an Australian I have to say i have never heard of an Australian Shepherd. Our national dog is a Kelpie or better known as a cattle dog and our other breed is the Australian terrier plus of course we have the Dingo.

Re/arthritis: i get a shot for my dog once every three months..she's 16 years old and has bounced back from being stiff and sore. She scampers and climbs steps with relative ease and is much happier.

Good luck with your Australian Shepherd...I'm going to to research this's a new one to me!

JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 5 years ago from Deep South, USA

Glucosamine and chondroitin supplements are recommended by some vets and plentiful to find. However, you mentioned that your dog is overweight, and that needs to be addressed too, especially as she is getting older. (Being overweight makes joint problems in humans more painful, also.)

Your vet can guide you on the best way to limit calories for your beloved pet to help her lose weight and maintain it, while continuing to give her the nutrients she needs.

My smaller dog (whose ideal weight is 20 pounds) "pudged" up to 24 pounds last year. Careful feeding and counting healthy treats with her daily calorie ration resulted in her regaining the 20-pound mark at her annual veterinary exam last week. She doesn't show any signs of joint problems, and (hopefully) the loss of extra pounds will prevent that.

Good luck!

ithabise profile image

ithabise 5 years ago from Winston-Salem, NC

This is true. My sister's dog--my friend Philly--has this problem. Just yesterday I witnessed it. My sister said that it was because she had failed to give him his supplements before going out. So for anyone reading and wondering about this, it is true. Try it.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.

    Click to Rate This Article