A list of common knee problems in dogs:

  • ACL ligament rupture, partial or complete. (Can often heal “okay” on its own)
  • Meniscal ligament rupture (Audible click, sometimes heals without surgery)
  • Medial Collateral Ligament hypertrophy (Stabilizing a “bad knee”. Not a “bad thing”).
  • Bulkiness from degenerative joint disease (Chronic arthritis)
  • Luxating Patella (Kneecap moves inward or outward. Intermittent lameness)

All knees are aggravated, (whether they have surgery or not), by overweight. In fact, knee problems seldom (almost never) happen in lean or normal-weight dogs. Oops!

After-the-fact, however; owners are always very surprised how many dogs can go off arthritis medications with scarcely more than weight loss. Life is short for big dogs with bad knees and fatness. Next thing you know, you’re carrying them up and down stairs.  (


Weight Loss (More important and more effective than ANY medication, at all, bar none.) The following medications (in order) are how we ‘ramp up’ as dogs get older, and further along with their aches and pains. ( -and-  (

  1. Buffered Aspirin
  2. Phycox (Excellent for use with all of the following as well)
  3. Deramaxx as needed
  4. Deramaxx on the daily
  5. Deramaxx and Tramadol
  6. Deramaxx and Tramadol and Gabapentin
  7. Cannabis (THC) Edibles (Stardust Chews, Los Angeles CA) (

Kneebusters” Syndrome where a dog ruptures a knee. Then they bear all their weight on the “good” knee, and that excessive loading (especially if overweight) wrecks the “good” knee and down they go. Then it’s $urgery, or carry them everywhere to pee and poop.

DHEA Has been shown to accelerate weight loss by 60%. Dog in the sugar-pill group lost ten pounds, while dogs in the DHEA group lost SIXTEEN pounds eating the same calorie restricted diet.  See: …for dosing and other information.

Stubborn weight loss is either YOUR fault, or a low-thyroid situation. There’s a blood test for that, which costs around fifty dollars.

Glucosamine / anti-oxidant and vitamin support is very useful in joints trying to heal. Phycox is without parallel, the best for this. But I also sell Cosequin and Dasequin. But Phycox is better and even a bit cheaper. But that’s not the point.

Q: Will pain medication mask pain and let the dog wreck the knee(s) more? A: Yes and no. They need to use a bum-knee a little bit or it will atrophy, plus; the “good knee” will pop carrying 100% of the weight. We want the knees to share a little. It’s up to you to limit exercise if the knee feels ok for rough-housing.

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Johnson Vet Services 2023