Hello, I'm Dr. Deb and will do my best to help you.
I'm sorry that Willie is experiencing arthritid but given his breed and age, I'd be really surprised if he didn't have it somewhere in his body. And, it can be quite a painful condition which is why we often suggest or recommend anti-pain medications such as Tramadol or Gabapentin in addition to anti-inflammatory medication such as Deramaxx, Rimadyl, Meloxicam or Previcox . But as you probably already know, these drugs would have to be dispensed by a vet who's seen Willie for this condition.
But you do have several over the counter options as long as he's not vomiting and not taking steroids (which I assume he's not):
1. Aspirin at a dose of 10 mgs per pound of body weight twice a day. For example, the dose for a 60-70 lb dog would be two, full strength (325 mg) tablets twice a day with food to avoid stomach upset.
2. Acetaminophen (tylenol) can also be given at a dose of 5 mgs per pound of body weight twice a day. The dose for a 60-70 lb dog would be one, 325 mg tablet at one time. It should also be given with food.
Care should be taken if you have cats that they don't have access to this drug since it can kill them.
Other options include
1. Zeel which is a human homeopathic drug available on the internet. The dose would be 1 tablet three times a day for 2 weeks, then 1 tablet twice daily. It would be safe to give with either one of the drugs mentioned above.
2. Fish oil supplements such as Welactin may also be of help.
3. Combinations of antioxidants such as Cell Advance 880 or Golden Years (also available on the internet)
4) Tumeric 1000mg/day which is an Indian spice and often available in a canine formulation on the internet.
Unfortuantely, supplements often take several weeks to be of benefit (if they are) so you might not see improvement from them immediately.
Alternative therapies such as hydrotherapy,laser therapy, massage therapy and even acupuncture have been shown to be very useful for many patients but can be fairly expensive.
I hope this helps and that he receives at least a measure of relief. Deb