Treating Canine Osteoarthritis vs Canine Arthritis

Canine Arthritis vs Canine Osteoarthritis

What’s the difference?

Canine Osteoarthritis (OA) is a common progressive condition affecting dogs and cats. This disease largely prevails in larger and senior dogs and is the gradual wear and tear of the joints. Not every dog will encounter OA in their lifetime. Although there is no proper treatment for this disease, early diagnosis and care can help your dog have an active and improved quality of life.

Canine OA is a progressive degenerative disease, mainly affecting joint mobility and causing chronic pain. This disease progressively affects joint motion and results in eventual lameness. Chronic pain associated with OA negatively impacts the quality of life and needs effective and safe treatments.

osteoarthritis in dogs

Canine Arthritis has many of the symptom markers of OA, however, it is mainly brought on by inflammation. This inflammation gradually destroys the joints by pushing out the protective substances surrounding them. In contrast to OA, arthritis can be brought on by several different factors including, age, immune system, diet, and hereditary factors. As well, almost every dog over age 7 has some level of  arthritis

Both diseases are considered complex and result in the destruction and dysfunction of your dog’s synovial membrane (connective tissues surrounding the joints), cartilage and bone. In turn, both diseases can be helped with natural joint nutrition and early detection.

But, unlike OA, canine arthritis may require a more comprehensive strategy to combat the pathological processes effectively.

Treating Canine OA and Canine Arthritis Naturally

For both OA and arthritis, supporting the joint tissues directly is paramount to managing the conditions. A natural substance, chondroitin sulfate, such as found in Nusentia’s RJX, is known to protect the cartilage, collagen, and tissues surrounding the joints, thus, maintaining them from further wear and tear. Chondroitin’s use in these conditions is well documented with positive results.

Further, natural glucosamine is a complementary substance to chondroitin for joint protection and has been found effective in orthopedic use in canine treatments for several years now. Glucosamine is famous for its anti-inflammatory function, making it appropriate for both OA and canine arthritis applications. 

treating canine arthritis

This study revealed that the use of glucosamine and chondroitin together enhanced their action for reducing inflammation.

Another powerful, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory is methylsulfonylmethane, known as “MSM”. In this study, MSM was shown to enhance the action of glucosamine-chondroitin significantly when combined with the pair.

Accordingly, chondroitin sulfate, glucosamine sulfate, and MSM are found in Nusentia’s® RJX™ for Dogs (Regenerative Joint Extra Strength). RJX™ is a natural, maximum strength liquid for dogs, providing superior absorption of these nutrients to enhance their effectiveness with quick relief and joint protection.

Dosage Ratios for Canine Glucosamine, Chondroitin and MSM 

For therapeutic effect, arthritic dogs should be given 3 parts glucosamine and MSM to 2 parts chondroitin based on weight. For example, a small dog from 10 to 25 lbs would benefit from 500mg of glucosamine and MSM plus 333mg of chondroitin. On the other hand, a larger dog, over 100lbs, should receive 1,500mg of glucosamine and MSM plus 1,000mg of chondroitin. 

See the following rate chart:

Dog Weight

Glucosamine/MSM Dosage*

Chondroitin Dosage*

Under 10lbs



10lbs - 24lbs



25lbs - 49lbs



50lbs - 100lbs



Over 100lbs



*Always check with your veterinarian to know if nutritional supplementation is right for your dog.

Canine Arthritis Requires Additional Defense Strategies

Since canine arthritis can be developed through additional factors, it’s important to address these issues as well. Trying to combat inflammation after the fact is fine, but it's preferred to find the culprit causing the inflammation in the first place. The latter proves to be more difficult.

First, rule out external lifestyle factors such as stress, sleeping conditions, and lack of exercise. Remove stressful influences on your dog and make sure to get him out of the house daily. Exercise is so important as it fulfills both mental and physical needs for your pup. Also, how are his sleeping conditions? Ensure your dog has ample room to change positions if he is crated. If your dog has a usual sleeping place, check that it is dry and clean.  

canine joint support supplement

Second, address his diet. An inappropriate diet can lead to inflammation of the entire body, including the joints. Rule out any protein allergens in his food as well as gut irritants, including, but not limited to, wheat and corn.

Third, provide digestive and immune support with probiotics and enzymes. This powerful combo benefits your dog by maintaining good intestinal flora and pushing out pathogens and toxins that would otherwise be trapped or fermenting in the body. Further, certain metabolic enzymes are found to have anti-inflammatory properties and were successful in managing arthritis, as found in this study. Nusentia’s® The Miracle Pack™ provides a full spectrum of biologically appropriate enzymes and probiotics to benefit the canine digestive and immune systems.

Does My Dog Have OA or Canine Arthritis?

It is difficult to diagnose chronic pain in non-verbal animals. Dogs can usually spend months or even years in chronic pain without us even knowing. However, there are some signs to pay attention to. In general, chronic pain results in reduced activity, weight loss, joint impairment and other degenerative effects.

veterinarian studies on canine arthritis

Some methods of detecting pain can be obvious, like a limping dog or a dog slow to movement. And, for example, if your dog reacts negatively to a touch to the paw, or joints, it can be concluded they are experiencing joint pain. But, a less obvious sign is when your dog shudders when lightly touched. This is called allodynia. Similar to a person suffering from a migraine, when even too much light feels painful, allodynia is an experience when even lightly touching your dog elicits a pain reaction. These types of reactions are usually a sign of neuropathic pain which is a symptom of the inflammation response.

The bottom line is there is a good amount of information that supports dietary supplements as an effective protocol for helping dogs with both arthritis and OA.  The safety and usefulness of glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, digestive enzymes, and probiotics have been well established in several studies. If your dog has OA or canine arthritis, speak with your veterinarian about the appropriateness of including these nutritional aids in your dog’s diet.

RJX Joint Supplement for Dogs


Kantor, Elizabeth D et al. “Associations between glucosamine and chondroitin supplement use and biomarkers of systemic inflammation.” Journal of alternative and complementary medicine (New York, N.Y.) vol. 20,6 (2014): 479-85. doi:10.1089/acm.2013.0323

Gugliandolo, Enrico et al. “Dietary Supplementation with Palmitoyl-Glucosamine Co-Micronized with Curcumin Relieves Osteoarthritis Pain and Benefits Joint Mobility.” Animals : an open access journal from MDPI vol. 10,10 1827. 8 Oct. 2020, doi:10.3390/ani10101827 |
Johnston, S A. “Osteoarthritis. Joint anatomy, physiology, and pathobiology.” The Veterinary clinics of North America. Small animal practice vol. 27,4 (1997): 699-723. doi:10.1016/s0195-5616(97)50076-3

Cordaro, Marika et al. “Safety and efficacy of a new micronized formulation of the ALIAmide palmitoylglucosamine in preclinical models of inflammation and osteoarthritis pain.” Arthritis research & therapy vol. 21,1 254. 28 Nov. 2019, doi:10.1186/s13075-019-2048-y

Bakare, Ahmed O, and Bamidele V Owoyele. “Bromelain reduced pro-inflammatory mediators as a common pathway that mediate antinociceptive and anti-anxiety effects in sciatic nerve ligated Wistar rats.” Scientific reports vol. 11,1 289. 11 Jan. 2021, doi:10.1038/s41598-020-79421-9

Sharma, Manu, and Deepika Chaudhary. “Exploration of bromelain laden nanostructured lipid carriers: An oral platform for bromelain delivery in rheumatoid arthritis management.” International journal of pharmaceutics vol. 594 (2021): 120176. doi:10.1016/j.ijpharm.2020.120176

age arthritis chondroitin dogs glucosamine joints msm osteoarthritis

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RJX® for Dogs
Triple strength non-steroidal liquid for canine joint support, protection, and regeneration.


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RJX® for Dogs
Triple strength non-steroidal liquid for canine joint support, protection, and regeneration.


joint support dogs