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Mission Animal Hospital offers several ways to help your pets with pain...

Joint Injections

Joint injections, also known as intra-articular injections, are commonly performed in human and equine medicine for the treatment of osteoarthritis. For small animals, these injections are less often performed primarily because most veterinarians don’t have the training and background needed. That said, at Mission Animal Hospital, we perform dozens of intra-articular injections annually. We recommend combining these injections with laser therapy and massage as part of a conservative pain management plan.

When should we inject a pet's joint?

  • In conjunction with laser therapy and nutritional supplements as part of a conservative pain management plan
  • Patients who have residual post-operative symptoms including swelling, pain, or lameness and have not responded to medical management or rehabilitation therapy
  • Patients who cannot safely use NSAID drug therapy
  • Patients who have end-stage inflammatory joint disease
  •  Patients with progressively worsening osteoarthritis

The most important fact? At Mission Animal Hospital, we’ll help you with joint injections and your dog — and any other way we can help their comfort. We promise.

Arthritis Treatment 

Conventional medical therapy 
  • Rest
  • Cold packs/icing after exercise, followed by warm packs
  • Weight minimization
  • Lifestyle modification– typically minimizing jumping and twisting in favor of more low impact exercise.
  •  Painkillers ranging from aspirin to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Rimadyl, Deramaxx, or Metacam
  •  Steroids, either injected into the affected joint or taken orally, in an effort to reduce the inflammatory component of joint disease

While rest and painkillers or steroids will definitely help the typical San Luis Obispo arthritic dog feel better, they are simply a “band aid” which won’t cure the progressive nature of arthritis. Worse, both NSAIDs and steroids have significant side effects which can, unfortunately, be more of a threat to a patient’s health than the joint pain they are treating.

Integrative treatment 
  • The conventional medical approach to arthritis focuses upon the signs and symptoms of arthritis.
  • The integrative approach to arthritis focuses upon solving the underlying inflammation that causes swelling and painful joints
  • In addition, if started early, integrative therapy of arthritis can reduce the dependence upon or minimize the use of medications.

By adding integrative therapy such as weight loss, nutraceuticals, and other joint-nourishing supplements to the treatment plan, our odds of success are increased without side effect.

Contact Us

Mission Animal Hospital


3973 South Higuera Street San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

Clinic Hours

Monday-Friday 8 am to 5 pm
Saturday- Sunday 9am to 3pm