Is there any medicine I can give my dog for joint pain in her back legs?

I have a 13 year old papillon who is starting to show serious signs of aging, which of course I know is inevitable but it hurts me to see her in pain now. She seems to have a lot of pain in her back legs... she'll randomly start limping, plop down on the floor, and has difficulty going up and down stairs so I've been assisting her when I can (though she still does go up and down sometimes on her own). Is there anything I can get from the vet or order online for joint pain for her? Will it even work? I don't want to bring her to the vet if they're just going to take a bunch of x rays and send me home with a hugeeeee bill but if it would be beneficial then I will do it. Just figured I'd start here first. Thank you!!


I would talk with your vet about supplements she can take for her joints. There might be joint injections she can get that will help too. My parents had some very old cats (21 and 22). The cats got a daily supplement of cosequin for their joints. This was a bottle of pills from the vet, you just open up the capsule and mix it into their wet food. See if something like this would be beneficial for your dog. I would also talk about the food you feed in general, if you don't feed a senior dog food it might be helpful to switch. These foods usually have less calories because the dogs arne't as active, and they have beneficial additives that help with things like dry skin and sore joints. I don't think you need x rays to talk about your dog's joint health. I would take some videos of your dog struggling to move so the vet can see her in action. This will tell the vet similar information to an x ray, because its showing how she moves when she is really hurting. I would also consider getting doggy steps for places she likes to be, like the sofa or your bed. This allows her an easier way to get up and down from her favorite places.


Try acupuncture.

heart o' gold

You need to have her checked by a vet. You can describe what is going on and the vet can discuss with you possibilities for what it is and also ways to test for the various conditions. They won’t treat or test your dog without your permission so you will have to agree to any costs before they run expensive tests. This could be all sorts of things and some of them could be quite simple to diagnose. A physical exam is part of the initial cost of seeing the vet, typically less than $100. If they want to do x rays they’ll give you a price, same with bloodwork. It is entirely possible that neither of those will be necessary. As a veteran pet owner who once had 5 dogs at a time, I am much more casual about taking my pets to the vet now than I used to be. I would almost always have some sort of panic-y paranoid exhaggerated idea of some horrible thing wrong with my dog that would cost tons to diagnose and treat - and frankly most of the time it was fairly straightforward and not expensive. I have learned to not to jump into panic mode right away. I have also, a couple of times, had it be real bad stuff or costly diagnoses tests, but most of the time things were fairly straightforward. You get to decide what to do with your dog. My vet would look at the dog and I’d tell her what was going on, then she’d either be able to tell me what it is, or tell me about testing options and costs. Then we’d talk about pros and cons, then I’d usually ask what she would do if it were here pet. Not everyone has this sort of relationship with their vet, I am truly lucky about that. Go to your vet and help your dog. If you have hard surface stairs I suggest you immediately get a runner rug or step area rugs to make your stairs slip safe for your dog. A very very common issue for small dogs is knee problems, specifically subluxation of the patella. Because of overbreeding for small size this is super common, a vet tech friend of mine who does in home care for small dogs says probably half her clients dogs have this and usually the client doesn’t even know til she tells them. Don’t freak out about this if you read up, I’ve had multiple dogs with this and they’ve lived with it just fine but you do want to know about it so you can limit specific activities. DO NOT try a bunch of stuff suggested by Yahoos, talk to your vet.


Take her to see your vet - there is treatment for joint pain although if she now has arthritis, there is of course, no cure. Unfortunately as there are always side effects with this kind of treatment (NSAIDs) but you have to weigh up the benefits vs any side effects, which your particular dog may not have in any case. My boy, for example, has been on Metacam for quite a long time (he has subluxation of the hips and other spinal problems) and so far, with no side-effects. I am reducing the amount I give him now, and currently he's off it completely. But I'm ready to reintroduce this, if he seems to need it. Keep as much weight off as you can, and perhaps consider installing ramps over any steps you have which she uses. This may be slipping stifle for which there is surgery, but at 13, I don't think I'd be rushing to get into that. I don't think I'd be self-medicating, or necessarily taking advice from strangers on here - many of whom are children. Your vet, who may not NEED to be doing x-rays, should be your source of advice/treatment,

E. H. Amos

Unless you know WHY she is in pain you cannot properly treat it so stop being a donkey's behind or CHEAP and lazy. We (nor you) can KNOW whether it is due to hips and arthritis there, spinal arthritis (which WILL affect rear movement) bad and/or slipping knee caps, a torn or damaged ACL, bursitis, or even stones in the kidney or bladder causing PAIN in the rear portion of the body. Yes, there are pain medications far BETTER than OTC junk, that only your vet can RX= if you get a proper diagnosis.

Love my Newf

Seriously? It hurts YOU to see your dog in pain? Well HOW ABOUT YOUR DOG THAT IS IN PAIN AND THAT YOU ARE CRUELLY DENYING VET CARE TO? You are a HORRIBLE pet owner. There's NOTHING you can give a dog for pain without a prescription. Either bet your dog to a vet or give it up to a shelter if you're too poor to care for it.


There are all kinds of joint supplements for dogs. Cosequin is one and there are many others. Check out or Most contain glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM.


I have no way of knowing what your Veterinarian is going to prescribe. I would - and did - take my dog to the Vet.