There is a form of immune mediated arthritis that is called enteropathic arthritis and also called Type III non-erosive arthropathy. This affects approximately 15% of dogs who have non-erosive arthritis according to Hay and Mansley, writing in "Saunders Manual of Small Animal Practice". A connection between gastroenteritis from food allergies and arthritis is also made in an issue of the "Veterinary Clinics of North America", (Blakemore, July 1994). This condition is also discussed in the "Textbook of Veterinary Internal Medicine" by Ettinger and Feldman. There appear to be two theories for the simultaneous occurrence of enteritis and arthritis. The first theory is that the disorders are both caused by the same underlying immune system abnormality, which probably does occur in some cases. The second theory is that the body's reaction to the chronic bowel disease and to immune complexes in the blood stream from this cause the arthritis. This probably also happens in some cases. Regardless of what the actual cause is, it does seem to help a great deal to successfully control the gastrointestinal disease so that should be the main thrust to the treatment effort. If the enteritis can be controlled then the arthritis should either resolve or require minimal treatment. In the meantime, if non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications help with the arthritis and don't make the gastrointestinal disease worse, they are probably the best medications to use. The other choice is to use corticosteroids. It is pretty important to be reasonably certain that this is an immune mediated arthritis and not osteoarthritis or infectious arthritis prior to using corticosteroids, though. On X-rays non-erosive arthritis usually causes very little changes to the bone so the joints look pretty normal except for soft tissue swelling. Aspirating fluid from the joint can also be helpful in making the diagnosis of immune mediated arthritis. It is hard to be sure that there is a connection between these two problems. The X-rays will help some and joint fluid aspiration might help, too. The best evidence would be if the arthritis clears up when the digestive problems are resolved. Good luck with this.
As our dogs age, things that were once second nature become an effort
As with any medical condition, the best next step after noticing a change in your dog’s patterns or behavior is a quick trip to the vet. Degenerative joint disease is usually verified via X-ray; your veterinarian can let you know for sure if your dog is suffering from arthritis and can give you an idea of how far along the disease has progressed. The vet can also look for possible causes outside of the norm.
How to Treat Arthritis in Dogs | petMD | petMD
I have already tried acupuncture and homeopathy, too (Arth-Ease). I am going for one more consult with a new orthopedic specialist (tomorrow) just to make sure there isn't some other problem before we start the corticosteroids. One more quick question -- do you recommend Pepcid AC for your patients who are on long-term corticosteroid therapy for arthritis? My other dog is on long-term therapy (prednisone) for chronic active hepatitis (10 mg. every other day for 60 lb. dog) and I have been giving her a 10 mg. Pepcid AC daily to prevent stomach problems on the instruction of her internal medicine specialist. So far, so good.
Treat Your Dog's Arthritis Pain Naturally (With These 3 Simple Steps)