Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can have noticeable, beneficial effects for the arthritis patient. However, NSAIDs that are intended for human use have a high incidence of potentially serious side effects in dogs. NSAIDs like Etogesic, Rimadyl, Metacam, and Deramaxx have been designed specifically for dogs and are much safer than drugs like ibuprofen or aspirin. However, these “doggy” NSAIDs can still cause gastrointestinal upset and in rare cases liver or kidney dysfunction. NSAID use in dogs should always be supervised by a veterinarian.
Dog food itself can have a positive impact on dogs that are suffering from arthritis. In a clinical study, dogs that were fed a diet specifically formulated for dogs with OA (osteoarthritis) such as Hill's Prescription Diet j/d , a food rich in Omega-3 fatty acids , showed improvement over dogs that had a similar arthritic condition, but that were fed an ordinary diet. The results of the study showed that "more dogs in the test group had a reduction in pain at the end of the 90-day trial." 82% of the dogs in the trial that received the new diet showed improvement.
Prednisone is generally tapered off anywhere between two and five weeks but how it's tapered off varies depending on how long the dog has been on the drug, the condition being treated and how the dog reacts to a lowered dosage, according to Vet Info . When the dog is tapered off, it's important to watch for clinical signs of trouble and report them to the vet immediately. The best way to ultimately prevent predisone withdrawal symptoms in dogs is to strictly adhere to the label's instructions and ensure that the tapering off instructions are followed exactly to the letter.