Dear Dr. Baum —
My 15 year old dog, 17 lb. (Miniature Schnauzer) walks very stiffly, as if he is arthritic. Is it OK to give him a baby aspirin? How often? Will it help?
Los Angeles, CA
Dear Eileen —
You should have him examined and x-rayed to confirm the diagnosis. There are many types of drugs to use for arthritic relief varying from buffered aspirin to nsaids to cortisone. The best preparation to use is the one that produces the best response with the least dosage — in other words, the least amount that controls the problem. None of these drugs is risk-free, and that why a thorough physical exam is indicated before starting anything for a long time.