Senior Dog Pain Relief

dog pain relief woodbridge, va
Share This Post

Do you have a senior dog? Are you worried about pain as they age? If you answered yes to either of these questions, then read our Woodbridge, VA, animal hospital‘s article to learn how to help your dog as they age.

Causes of Pain in Senior Dogs

There are many things that can cause pain in your dog. Some of these can affect dogs young and old, while others tend to affect older dogs more. Illness and injury can cause pain in dogs at any age. Remember, Illness and injury can cause pain in dogs at any age.

As dogs age, they become more prone to pain caused by age. Their bones may be more brittle. They may get arthritis. Their bones may be more brittle and they may get arthritis.

That is why it is important to talk to your vet about determining the cause of your dog’s pain. In order to treat their pain properly, you need to know the cause. Below are some signs/symptoms that may indicate your pet may be in pain that you are not aware of.

Symptoms of Pain

  • Difficulty moving
  • Squinting eyes
  • Sensitive to touch
  • Hunched back position (hip/spin pain)
  • Obsessive grooming
  • Difficulty getting up
  • Difficulty sitting down or lying down
  • Difficulty getting comfortable
  • Grumpiness or aggression
  • Unexplained panting while resting

Dog Pain Relief

There are many medications and treatments available to help your dog if they are in pain. You can use medications, supplements, even acupuncture. It is important to consult with your vet before starting anything, especially if your dog is already on other medications..


The best tested supplement for senior dogs in pain is fish oil and omega 3 fatty acids. However, many vets also recommend glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM. Hyaluronic acid and injectable polysulfated glycosaminoglycan have also been shown to help. All of these supplements are safe for your dog to take.

Best Omega 3 Fatty Acid Options

Best Glucosamine Options

Best Joint Supplements for Dogs

Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

These are medications that your vet will prescribe for your dog and are not available over the counter. It is extremely important to talk to your vet before purchasing any of these, as they can have side effects and adverse effects when partnered with other medications and sometimes even foods.

Dogs with liver or kidney problems, gastrointestinal problems, or bleeding problems have an increased risk of adverse side effects.


Possible side effects of Rimadyl include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Decreased appetite
  • Decreased energy level
  • Dark, black, or tar-like stool
  • Increased thirst
  • Increased urination
  • Pale gum color
  • Yellowing of gums (jaundice)
  • Weakness
  • Lack of coordination
  • Seizures
  • Behavioral changes


Possible side effects of Deramaxx include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Changes in bowel movements
  • Bloody stool
  • Changes in behavior
  • Jaundice
  • Excessive drinking
  • Excessive urination
  • Seizures
  • Skin irritation
  • Stomach pain
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Unexpected weight loss


Possible side effects include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Blood in vomit or stool
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Extreme thirst
  • Excessive urination
  • Jaundice
  • Elevated heart rate
  • itchiness


Possible side effects include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Blood in vomit or stool
  • Lack of appetite
  • Decreased appetite
  • Increased need to urinate
  • Increased need to drink
  • Pale gums
  • Skin redness
  • Scabs
  • Scratching
  • Jaundice
  • Lethargy
  • Weakness
  • Lack of coordination
  • Seizures


Possible side effects include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Lack of appetite
  • Mucus in stool
  • Blood in stool

Alternative Treatments

There are a number of alternative treatments as well. Most vets will know something about these, and can usually recommend good options available in your area.

Acupuncture for Dogs

Acupuncture can be used to treat a host of problems for dogs. These include:

  • Arthritis
  • Pain
  • Degenerative joint disease
  • Nerve pain
  • Intervertebral disc disease
  • Post-Surgery healing and recovery
  • Cancer side effects
  • Trauma
  • Hormonal conditions
  • Metabolic conditions
  • Skin conditions
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Idiopathic Epilepsy

It is important to find a reputable acupuncturist. Start with your vet and people you know. If you have to look them up online, make sure to check all their reviews.

Treatment for ongoing pain, such as arthritis, will require repeated visits. Appointments usually last from 30 minutes to an hour. Cost will vary based on where you are and how much experience the acupuncturist has.

Water Therapy for Dogs

Water therapy, also known as hydrotherapy, uses water to aid and improve health. This includes aerobics or exercise in water as well as spa services.

Hydrotherapy can be used to treat:

  • Neurological problems
  • ACL injuries
  • Arthritis
  • Orthopedic injuries
  • Orthopedic health problems
  • Post-Surgery healing and recovery
  • Cushing’s Disease
  • Diabetes

Check with your vet and local spa services to determine what might work best for your dog. Always check reviews of a place before making an appointment. Most hydrotherapy will be done in a dog spa setting.

Cold Laser Therapy for Dogs

In cold laser therapy, a cold laser is used to stimulate healing. This can be used to treat an injury, to promote healing after a medical procedure, or to treat chronic conditions. The cold laser stimulates your dog’s body to produce ATP which helps cells regenerate faster and brings inflammation of the area down

Hot Cold Therapy

Hot cold therapy for dogs is similar to the one for humans. You apply heat for 5-10 minutes and then apply cold for 5-10 minutes. Continue to alternate the temperatures.

This therapy increases blood flow and facilitates the elasticity of muscles. It can be used to treat temporary and chronic pain.

Reach Out to Our Woodbridge, VA, Animal Hospital for Senior Dog Pain Relief

If you have a senior dog who may be suffering from pain, there are plenty of options available to you. In many cases, a combination of the above treatments, medications, and supplements is the best path.

Reach out to our veterinarians if your senior dog needs pain relief by giving our animal hospital a call at (703) 680-4000.

More To Explore

How Do You Know if Your Dog Has Heartworms

Heartworms can pose a significant threat to your dog’s health and well-being. Caused by Dirofilaria immitis and spread through mosquito bites, this potentially fatal parasite

Get the best care for your best friend.