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Proper treatment can help slow the progression of OA

Canine osteoarthritis (OA) affects as many as 20% of dogs in the US.1 This degenerative condition can cause pain and inflammation, joint stiffness and mobility issues.

osteoarthritis diagram

Osteoarthritis involves a progressive cycle of deterioration1:

  • Affects the entire joint
  • Causes ongoing inflammation
  • Destroys cartilage and the cruciate ligament
  • Causes thickening of the joint capsule and subchondral bone
  • Reduces viscosity of synovial fluid
  • Results in narrowing of the joint space
Left untreated, inflammation eventually causes irreversible damage.

20% of dogs over 1 year of age in the United States are believed to be suffering from osteoarthritis1

A comprehensive approach to treatment is needed to break the cycle.

Management of osteoarthritis should include the triad of weight control, exercise and pharmacologics, including NSAIDs.1

osteoarthritis management

Goals of therapy should include:

  • Increasing activity
  • Preserving muscle mass and strength
  • Regaining function

An important goal of osteoarthritis treatment is to break the cycle of inflammation and pain. If properly treated, the progression of osteoarthritis can be slowed.2


As a class, NSAIDs may be associated with gastrointestinal, kidney and liver side effects. These are usually mild, but may be serious. Pet owners should discontinue therapy and contact their veterinarian immediately if side effects occur. Evaluation for pre-existing conditions and regular monitoring are recommended for pets on any medication, including RIMADYL. Use with other NSAIDs or corticosteroids should be avoided. See full Prescribing Information, attached here.

  1. Johnston SA. Osteoarthritis: joint anatomy, physiology, and pathobiology. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract. 1997;27:699-723.
  2. Litman D. Maximizing success in osteoarthritis care: benefits of a comprehensive management approach. Int J Rheum. 2008;5:1-37.

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