Common Causes of Pain for Older Dogs and How to Treat Them

by Alex De Cort on Dec 01, 2021

Picture of a dog laying streched out on a sofa relaxing

The hardest part about having a dog is when they start to get older. You notice they become slower, have less energy and often they are in pain. So, what are the causes of this pain and how can you treat it? Although some breeds of dogs are more prone to certain diseases and injuries, there are a few pain-causing diseases which become more common with age. These are arthritis, cancer, and pancreatitis.  


What is dog arthritis? 

Arthritis is a condition where the joints become inflamed, which can make it difficult and painful for your dog to move. In older dogs, arthritis is especially common in their hip and elbow joints and can be noticed by difficulty in using stairs, stiffness and licking the joint. It is estimated that 1 in 4 dogs are diagnosed with arthritis (Bland, 2015)(To find out more on dog arthritis, click here). Although arthritis can temporarily be treated with pain medications, anti-inflammatory drugs and new treatments, arthritis cannot be cured. These medications also have negative side effects such as vomiting and diarrhea, loss of energy and higher likelihood of kidney disease. Therefore, it is more important to ensure that your dog is as comfortable as possible. Comfort can be provided by a special dog bed made from memory foam, placing carpets on slippery floors, massaging their joint area and more effectively, giving them CBD oil. CBD oil is a natural component known to have capabilities reduce pain and inflammation without having the side-effects that traditional medications. 


Can dog cancer be treated? 

Another common cause of pain in elderly dogs is cancer. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, around half of dogs over the age of 10 will suffer from cancer. Dogs with cancer are treated with chemotherapy and radiation therapy, just like humans are. And just like with humans, the side-effects of these treatments can be avoided with the use of CBD oil. CBD oil can also be used as a treatment against pain for if the owner does not want to put their pet through chemotherapy. It can additionally help with your dog's recovery if they have had a surgery to remove a tumour. Another alternative treatment for dog cancer is acupuncture and dietary supplements (for example, Vitamin C).  


What is dog pancreatitis? 

Pancreatitis is another painful condition which is more common in older dogs. It occurs when the pancreas (an organ) is inflamed and releases digestive enzymes which damage other organs. This can either be acute or chronic, but both types cause immense abdominal pain in a dog. There are many medications which treat pancreatitis, such as anti-inflammatory medications known as NSAIDs or pain medication such as Tramadol. However, as with the medications for arthritis, they can have negative side effects. Therefore, a popular natural option for treatment is CBD oil for dogs.  

When dogs get older, it is crucial to do the most you can to reduce their pain and increase their comfort. Since most traditional treatments and medications have negative side effects, there is a shift towards natural treatments such as CBD oil, energy healing and acupuncture. Regardless, there are certain conditions that older dogs will likely suffer from. Therefore, what CandidTails wants to do is help dog lovers take care of their best friend and help them the best they can. 



Bland, S. D. (2015). Canine Osteoarthritis and Treatments: A Review. Veterinary Science Development, 5(1). doi:10.4081/vsd.2015.5931 

Cancer in Pets. (n.d.). Retrieved November 20, 2021, from