Veterinarians usually treat older dogs with steroids or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). However, both of these treatments have major downsides and they often don't work. Or, they may work for a while, and then stop working and the arthritis may come on worse than ever. Steroids actually cause further breakdown of the joints even if the pain subsides temporarily. NSAIDs commonly cause bleeding in the stomach, ulcers, kidney disease, and liver problems. Unfortunately, dog owners and sometimes veterinarians rarely notice the early warning signs of arthritis in dogs because these animals can be so stoic that they ignore soreness and discomfort until the arthritic changes in the joints have progressed so significantly that their motility is affected. Some symptoms that may help you spot arthritis in your dog are subtle changes like a decrease in desire to play, shorter walks, and more time sleeping. These changes could seem like nothing, but may actually be the start of arthritis. It’s easy to misinterpret the symptoms because our dogs can’t tell us what’ wrong.