It's hard to watch your older dog suffer with the pain of arthritis. While medications like firocoxib can provide relief for some, they do have their side effects. If your dog cannot tolerate pain medications, you may want to explore non-drug methods for relieving arthritis pain. Here are three that tend to work well.
Cold Laser Therapy
Cold laser therapy involves the use of cool, low-energy lasers to stimulate cell regeneration and increase blood circulation. The laser is directed at you dog's sore joints, penetrating deep into his tissues. Your dog won't feel a thing while the laser is working, and in fact, many dogs find the procedure to be relaxing and enjoyable. The results begin to appear immediately, but they develop even more in the days that follow as the increased circulation helps diminish the inflammation (and associated pain) caused by arthritis.
Look for a vet in your area who provides cold laser therapy. Most dogs require treatment every week or two for ongoing pain relief, but the process is safe for most every dog.
Epsom Salt Baths
Humans have long been soaking in Epsom salts when their joints are sore. This simple home remedy works for dogs, too. Epsom salts contain magnesium, which is known for helping muscles to relax and for drawing inflammation out of tissues. Just stir a handful of Epsom salts into a tub of slightly warm water, and encourage your dog to step on in. Try to have him soak for 20 minutes or as long as he stays relaxed. You may have to give him some treats or distract him with a toy the first few times he soaks, but once he realizes the soaking brings him pain relief, he should relax and enjoy it even more. You can soak your dog as often as he appears to need it.
Warming arthritic joints seems to ease the stiffness and make them easier to bend. Giving your dog a heating pad to sleep on will allow him to seek his own pain relief as needed. Turn the heating pad on low, and cover it with a thin blanket to reduce the chances of your dog getting too warm or burning his skin. Soon, the pad will become your dog's go-to resting place. Leave the pad on whenever you're home, but unplug it before you leave so you don't put your home at risk of a fire.