How much does it cost to treat and manage arthritis in dogs?

How much does it cost to treat and manage arthritis in dogs?

Health & Safety

Buying or adopting a dog or puppy is a big commitment to make, because it means taking on the responsibility to care for that animal for the entire duration of their life. This can of course cost a significant amount of money over the long term, and many first-time dog owners greatly underestimate the various costs involved.

However, even if you plan ahead very carefully to ensure you can afford all of the care your dog might need, there are a lot of variables that can come into play too, such as if your dog developed an ongoing, chronic health condition when they got older; like arthritis.

Arthritis is one of the most common health conditions faced by older dogs, and one that comes in many different forms and that can present in different ways with varying degrees of severity. However, arthritis is not a condition that can be cured or reversed, and so a diagnosis of arthritis means the need to potentially fund a variety of different treatments to manage the condition that might be trialled for suitability, as well as making some lifestyle changes for your dog too.

The cost of treating arthritis in dogs depends on all of these variables, and the dog too; for instance, treating arthritis in larger dogs is more expensive than for smaller ones. However, if you’re looking for information on how much canine arthritis treatment might cost per day or how it might vary depending on what type of dog you have, this article will provide some guidance. Read on to learn more about the cost of treating arthritis in dogs.

What treatment options are available for arthritis in dogs?

Arthritis is not a condition that can be reversed or fully cured, and so the goal of treating canine arthritis is to reduce pain, maintain and improve freedom of movement, reduce damage, and slow down the advancement of the condition.

There are quite a lot of different approaches that may be taken to doing all of this, and your vet will discuss the best options for your own dog, which will often combine several different factors.

The ultimate cost of treating arthritis in dogs therefore depends in large part on what type of treatment is recommended; and some very mild and slow to develop cases of arthritis may be able to be controlled with just lifestyle changes alone.

Some of the most common and widely used arthritis treatments in dogs are:

  • Dietary changes and weight management.
  • Painkillers.
  • Anti-inflammatory medications.
  • Supplements to support the joints.
  • Mobility therapies.
  • Physiotherapy.
  • Hydrotherapy.

How much does it cost to treat arthritis in dogs?

The cost of treating arthritis in any given dog depends on which treatments are used, and also the needs of the dog itself. Treatments tend to be scalable too, costing more for larger dogs than small ones.

Additionally, because arthritis is a lifelong condition that cannot be reversed, the lifetime cost or overall cost of treatment depends too on when the dog is diagnosed, and the age that they live to.

However, we can provide guidance on some broad average costs per day for treating arthritis in dogs, for a couple of different scenarios, ranging from a basic or minimal level of treatment required versus a comprehensive and intensive approach encompassing several different treatment approaches.

Once more, these costs are scalable depending on the size of the dog and will vary considerably depending on their size.

  • A dog that weighs in the region of 10kg, like a Beagle, might cost around 60p per day for a low level or basic form of treatment, but this could rise to £3-£3.50 per day for a complex treatment regime.
  • For a larger dog like the Rottweiler with an average weight of 50kg, the costs will be much higher. Even a basic treatment regime is likely to cost around £3 per day, and for a very comprehensive treatment regime, £15-£18 per day would not be unheard of.

This means that over the course of a year, a comprehensive treatment regime for arthritis in a large dog would cost many thousands of pounds, which many dog owners would struggle to fund.

Dogs that are insured would usually be covered for arthritis under a standard policy’s terms, although policies are often capped at a certain upper limit, which might mean only limited coverage or coverage for a certain amount of time or money.

Can you prevent your dog from developing arthritis in the first place?

There are a great many different factors that contribute to the development of arthritis in dogs, many of which cannot be predicted or controlled. There is no sure-fire way to prevent any given dog from developing arthritis, nor of knowing if a dog is likely to develop the condition in later life.

Arthritis is not exclusively a condition of old age, but it does tend to develop more commonly in dogs past the age of nine. Whilst this cannot be prevented per se, a dog that is overweight and that has been overweight for the best part of its life will be more likely to develop arthritis and suffer from it more acutely than one that is fit, healthy and lean.

By keeping your dog active and controlling their weight, you can reduce their risk factors for arthritis and its potential severity too.

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