When we adopt a dog or a puppy, we adopt more than a pet. We adopt a friend, a companion, and a member of our families. Regardless of whether it’s seeing their cute face when we wake up in the morning, petting their head before going to bed each night, or looking forward to a walk in the park after work, we enjoy each and every day with our dogs.
When our best friends and beloved family members begin to show signs of age or deteriorating health, heart-breaking doesn’t come close to the pain we feel. We want to do everything we can to help our dogs live long, healthy lives, as much as possible.
The truth is that most dogs end up with health issues as they age. However, many dog breeds are prone to more serious issues, one common one being osteoarthritis. In this article, we are going to talk about what osteoarthritis is, common signs and symptoms, and the best treatment options for your dog.
What is Galliprant
As dogs age, their joints suffer from inflammation. Relieving joint inflammation in dogs is critical for preserving your dog’s quality of life. Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) are a popular option as they can help prevent inflammation associated with osteoarthritis. As inflammation is reduced, pain is eliminated.
Galliprant is an FDA-approved drug used to treat the symptoms of osteoarthritis in dogs. It achieves this by targeting and reducing inflammation. By reducing inflammation, this allows older dogs to live an active, happy life.
Although not an NSAID, Galliprant provides the benefits of NSAIDs. NSAIDs help target the inflammation process. Furthermore, Galliprant uses the body’s neurotransmitters to reduce and/or eliminate inflammation in affected joints.
NSAID anti-inflammatories in dogs are common. In fact, there are several on the market that were available prior to Galliprant. Like many NSAIDs, a licensed veterinarian is required to prescribe the appropriate dosage to your dog. If your dog is suffering from canine osteoarthritis, NSAIDs like Galliprant can help give your pup their mobility again.
Why Use Galliprant for Dogs?
Dogs are perpetually happy. With tail wags and kisses, they constantly show their gratitude. A dog’s energy and joie de vivre remind us to enjoy the present and live in the moment. If your beloved friend begins to appear weak and lethargic, don’t delay too long. Over time, as inflammation becomes more severe, it can be debilitating for your dog. Your dog’s overall level of pain will become hard to ignore. Dogs who develop osteoarthritis often arrive at the vet’s office with inflammation that has affected their joints for quite some time.
Several NSAIDs are approved by the FDA for treating canine osteoarthritis and other breed-centric health concerns like dysplasia. Unfortunately, many come with side effects like nausea and kidney damage. While it’s a bit early to tell, Galliprant seems to provide the same high level of treatment without the same side effects. In fact, many vets prefer prescribing Galliprant because it provides many health benefits without severe side effects.
What is Canine Osteoarthritis?
Like humans, dogs have cartilage in their joints. Cartilage allows the bones to move body parts without pain. As we age, humans experience gradual loss of cartilage. The same is true for dogs. As cartilage deteriorates, bones grind against one another, causing pain and inflammation.
A big difference for dogs is osteoarthritis is commonly associated with cranial cruciate ligament disease, elbow dysplasia, and hip dysplasia. The most common causes of osteoarthritis range from genetics to physical health. If your dog has a healthy diet and gets proper exercise, then you can lower your dog’s risk of osteoarthritis.
Veterinarians diagnose osteoarthritis in your dog through a physical exam and X-rays. Osteoarthritis isn’t curable; however, conservative treatment can help your dog live a pain-free life. In severe cases, osteoarthritis can be treated with soft tissue surgery. Most dogs that undergo surgery as a treatment method for osteoarthritis often see favorable outcomes.
Symptoms of Arthritis
Dogs are subtle about pain. Being proactive and noticing small clues can help catch problems early and prevent further pain in your dog. If your dog doesn’t seem like him or herself, here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Is he/she moving freely and normally?
- Is he/she getting up and laying down more gingerly?
- Has your dog’s disposition changed at all?
- Does your dog seem to favor a leg while walking?
These are just some questions to ask yourself when assessing chronic pain in your dog. Here are some specific symptoms of osteoarthritic pain to watch out for:
Unfortunately, many dog owners realize too late when their dog is ill or suffering from a disease. Sometimes certain symptoms are due to old age. However, lethargy is a different story. Dogs who are lethargic means they are void of energy. This means that they are sleeping more and eating less. Lethargic dogs are not normal. Lethargy and decreased appetite are signs of chronic pain or other serious issues.
For example, if your dog isn’t as eager to greet you at the door or initiate playtime, something is most likely wrong. Yes, he or she simply may not be feeling well. However, if this behavior persists more than a few days, then it’s worth giving your veterinarian a call. As your dog ages, paying attention to signs of lethargy is extremely important.
Most dogs are only aggressive if they feel threatened. Pain creates insecurity, which can manifest as aggression. Aggressive dogs are hyper-aware of their surroundings and potential threats.
Now, most dogs playfully growl or bark during play time. Games like tug of war elicit these responses. However, if you are petting your dog, and he or she growls, then this could be an indication that he or she is in pain.
Furthermore, if your dog doesn’t growl during petting, but you notice their tail isn’t wagging and seems stiff, this is a subtle yet critical sign of aggression. This could also be attributed to your dog’s physical pain level.
This should call for veterinary medicine and attention.
Dogs are social animals. They tend to love people, other animals, and anything interactive. New sights and smells illuminate their world. Dogs are naturally curious about everything. If you notice a change from this general inquisitive behavior, start paying attention to other subtle personality changes unique to your dog.
Each dog has individual idiosyncrasies. Notice different ways your dog interacts with its world. If interactions begin to change, pay attention. They could be indicative of pain. When dogs change their habits – how they sleep, eat, rest, play, and so on—there is likely a medical reason behind the change in behavior.
In cases of osteoarthritis, if your dog is less exuberant, this could be a cause. Personality changes happen over time so if your dog seems off for more than several days, then consider seeking veterinary attention. In addition to osteoarthritis, there are other canine health problems that are also linked to personality changes.
Many heavyset and even obese dogs end up with health problems. This is because anatomy doesn’t handle weight gain well. Increased weight also increases joint strain, especially the hips. Hip strain exacerbates hip dysplasia and could eventually lead to paralysis.
The good news about weight gain is that you are in control. Be proactive and be cognizant of your dog’s weight. Dog obesity is easy to diagnose using their ribs. Clearly identifying each rib on a dog means he or she is underweight. Conversely, if you cannot see or feel your dog’s ribs, then he or she is probably too heavy. In order to help control your dog’s weight, be sure that he or she maintains a healthy diet and gets the right amount of exercise. Lethargic dogs gain weight, so if you notice that your dog isn’t as active and is gaining weight, then this could be a sign of OA pain or osteoarthritis.
Galliprant for Dogs: How Does it Work?
Understanding how Galliprant works is important in order to see how it will help improve your dog’s quality of life. Galliprant is an anti-inflammatory drug. The purpose of any anti-inflammatory drug is ameliorating inflammation. Anti-inflammatory drugs are designed to stop the process of inflammation as well as reduce inflammation in the joint.
Inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury. This is why injuries swell. Swelling restricts mobility and could lead to joint ossification over the long term. Joint ossification is a condition that affects the dog’s elbow joints. There are three primary bones that form the elbow joint in dogs: the radius, ulna, and the humerus. These bones form a hinge and rotate around the cylinder bone. The ossification process is when two of the primary bones in the elbow joint fuse together.
Although this is commonly a disease that develops in puppies, studies also show that extreme pressure on the joints or even a stress fracture can cause this painful condition. In fact, joint ossification is the key problem of osteoarthritis in dogs.
Unlike NSAIDs, Galliprant targets specific areas of pain and inflammation. Galliprant targets the EP receptor. This receptor is the root cause of pain and inflammation. Galliprant targets the pain at the source and treats it.
NSAIDs for Dogs
NSAID therapy is a popular and effective arthritis and anti-inflammatory medication for dogs. There are several NSAIDs available on the market for dogs. These anti-inflammatory medications are proven to help pups get their quality of life back and allow them to run and play like they used to.
However, there are some problems associated with NSAIDs. These common issues primarily include nausea, kidney problems, and even liver failure. NSAIDs require dogs to have blood work on a regular basis. These tests help vets monitor the dog’s organ function.
Galliprant for Dogs Precautions
Like any medication, you should take precautions. Galliprant is no different. While Galliprant helps your dog regain their quality of life, there are still precautions and risks to be aware of. Take note of your dog’s diet and any other health conditions before talking with your vet.
Furthermore, if you determine that the best treatment method for your dog is Galliprant, be sure to avoid harmful drug interactions. This includes heartworm pills and multivitamins. Ensuring there are no problematic or potentially harmful drug interactions or adverse reactions can help your dog get the most out of Galliprant.
Although Galliprant has been effective and helpful for dogs with osteoarthritis, be sure to stay up to date on the latest research by reviewing field studies.
Galliprant dosage is based on weight, age, and health status of your dog. Additionally, Galliprant is unavailable for dogs under 8 pounds. Smaller breeds require further veterinarian consultation. The Galliprant dosage should never be increased or decreased without consenting your veterinarian first. Vets will do blood work to determine the efficacy of the medication along with organ health.
Depending on the dosage, your dog will experience relief from one or a half a chewable tablet each day. If your dog begins to experience side effects or adverse reactions from taking Galliprant, be sure to bring these to your vet’s attention immediately. In these cases, your vet may adjust the dosage, depending on the side effects.
The 20mg dosage of Galliprant is for smaller dogs or larger dogs with mild cases of inflammation. Generally, dogs under 30 pounds use this dosage. For mild inflammation on a larger dog, this is one way to introduce the dog to the medication to see if he or she shows results. Dogs that weigh 8-15 pounds
get half a chewable tablet daily while 15 and up to 30-pound dogs get a full tablet. Here are some dog breeds that will likely benefit from the 20mg dosage:
- Miniature & Toy Poodle
- American Cocker Spaniel
- French Bulldog
- Boston Terrier
- Regular Dachshund
- Shih Tzu
There are several tiny dogs where this dosage could be questionable or potentially harmful. Your dog should weigh at least 10 pounds. As always, be sure to consult your vet before making any decisions.
The 60mg dosage of Galliprant is for dogs weighing between 30-75 pounds. Dogs weighing 30.1-45 pounds get a half tablet daily. The larger dogs in this dosing range can receive full chewable tablets. Many of these dogs are the quintessential breeds with genetic health conditions. Talk to your vet about how Galliprant can provide a better quality of life for your dog.
Here are notable breeds within this particular weight range:
- Labrador Retriever
- German Shepherd
- Border Collie
- English Bulldog
- Chow Chow
- Basset Hound
- Golden Retriever
- Doberman Pinscher
- Standard Poodle
Dosing is different for larger dogs. If a dog weighs between 75-150 pounds, then he or she gets one tablet daily. Dogs weighing over 150 pounds get two chewable tablets. Furthermore, larger dogs have different health conditions to consider. These dogs are more prone to osteoarthritis due to their size.
Here are notable large dog breeds in this dosage:
- Great Dane
- Bernese Mountain Dog
- St. Bernard
- Alaskan Malamute
Be sure to consider diet and exercise with larger dogs. In addition to using Galliprant, avoiding weight gain is critical to their health and happiness.
All in all, getting your dog help and veterinary attention early is a great way to prolong their quality of life.
Galliprant Side Effects
Galliprant has side effects, but these are relatively harmless compared to NSAIDs. Side effects from Galliprant mostly cause discomfort and usually occur as the dog adjusts to the medication.
Here are some of the most common Galliprant side effects:
- Decreased appetite
Gastrointestinal issues are common with many medications. However, if side effects persist, give your vet a call. Unlike NSAIDs, these side effects are not nearly as distressing. The side effects of Galliprant are also infrequent in nature. In fact, the lack of side effects is the major benefit of this medication. Again, be sure to review case studies and field studies regarding Galliprant as new information is released and available.
Holistic Pain Meds for Dogs
Of course, we want to give our dogs medication that helps treat their condition in a safe way. Holistic pain medications are a great way to help your dog take control of pain without experiencing harmful or negative side effects. Fish oil, white willow bark, glucosamine, and turmeric are just some popular methods that can give your dog relief.
In addition to medications and modalities, there are other ways you can give your dog relief. Orthopedic dog beds are a great idea. Dogs like cold floors, so equipping the orthopedic bed with a cooling pad and giving them a breeze from a nearby fan helps the holistic remedies do their job.
CBD for Dogs
CBD oil is another great way to help dogs take control of pain. A natural anti-inflammatory drug, CBD oil can help give your dog natural, harmless pain relief. CBD oil also comes in a variety of forms, including chewable tablets.
Furthermore, CBD chewable tablets that contain glucosamine treat inflammation at its source while also providing joint support. Joint support is critical because the longer joints stay healthy, the less impact osteoarthritis will have on your dog over the long term. The best place to find CBD products is Honest Paws. Honest Paws offers a vast inventory of CBD products, which can help you find the best medication for your dog.
Glucosamine for Dogs
Glucosamine is a go-to supplement for humans, and for good reason. Plenty of studies confirm how glucosamine promotes joint health and alleviates the degradation of articular cartilage. Preservation of cartilage is the best way to ensure your joints work efficiently, and the same is true for your dog. Glucosamine for dogs repairs cartilage and synovial fluids.
The body naturally produces glucosamine, however, the body produces less as dogs age. These supplements help maintain efficient body production and also allow your dog to enjoy his or her favorite activities as the years advance.
Turmeric for Dogs
Turmeric is not just for seasoning; its benefits are ideal for dogs. A natural anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant, your dog’s regular consumption of turmeric promotes greater joint health. In fact, research published in 2014 indicates that turmeric might be more effective than Ibuprofen as an anti-inflammatory. The study profiled humans, but the same results are documented for canines.
Using turmeric in conjunction with Galliprant reduces instances of gastrointestinal discomfort as well. Turmeric naturally soothes the stomach. Your dog won’t experience the same nausea and GI discomfort when you add turmeric as they might otherwise.
Finally, turmeric is also great for your dog’s heart. Turmeric lowers LDL in dogs, which decreases blood clots. Oxygenated blood flowing efficiently through your dog’s circulatory system makes sure all tissues are nourished, including joints.
Galliprant for Dogs: Final Thoughts
Your dog loves you unconditionally. They live to make you happy. Few things melt the coldest of hearts like a dog’s tender gaze. As your dog gets older, pay attention to his or her activity levels, personality, and behaviors. When subtle changes begin to arise, monitor them closely, and call the vet if and when needed.
Preserving your dog’s quality of life is easy thanks to modern veterinary medicine. Through holistic and pharmaceutical modalities, your dog has the chance to live a long, active life. Learn about different treatments including Galliprant. Increased knowledge keeps your dog running and playing like a puppy.