Arthritic pain, or Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD) is a debilitating condition commonly seen in small animals. It is characterized by loss of hyaline cartridge matrix and death of chondrocytes. It is more common in dogs than cats, although both species can be affected. DJD may be a result of the normal aging process but is more likely a result of disease processes in the joint.

It is important to note that cats and dogs are excellent at hiding their pain. Dogs can hide between 35-50% of their pain, while cats can hide up to 80% of their pain. In fact, in some cases the first sign is seen by a veterinarian looking at X-rays. One common symptom of arthritic pain / DJD is behavioural problems, such as increased aggression and biting.

If you notice your pet not behaving 100%, we recommend an exam to allow Doctor Sran to check the underlying pain and outline the options for pain management.

The condition can be managed with and without surgery. The surgery and/or conservative treatment we offer is multimodal, consisting of 2 – 5 different medicine-supplement combinations. For example:

  1. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Metacam and Deramaxx are prescribed for their analgesic (pain relieving) properties.
  2. Gabapentinoids such as Gabapentin is used to treat chronic and neuropathic pain.
  3. Opioids such as tramadol provide pain relief.
  4. Chondroprotective Agents such as glucosamine supplements.
  5. Cartrophen Vet is a disease modifying osteoarthritis drug of plant origin with multiple pharmacological actions that delay the progression of arthritis by:

– Inhibiting enzymes that break down cartilage

– Stimulating production of lubricant and cartilage molecules by joint cells

-Improving blood circulation to arthritic tissues

– Normalising immune response by regulating messenger molecules which control these processes

-Blocking damaging free radicals and antigens

Treatment is initially a course of 4 weekly injections. This is followed by booster injections at intervals determined by your veterinarian based in part on the dogs’ age, severity of arthritis and duration of the response to Cartrophen Vet. Most pets respond quickly to the initial course with increased activity and well-being.

For more information or to book a consultation with Doctor Sran please do not hesitate to call us on 604-870-9333 or email us at