Dog arthritis is a common condition that affects the joints of dogs. What makes it different from other types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis, is that it results from the natural wear and tear of joints with age.
Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints, and osteoarthritis (the main kind of dog arthritis) can happen by injury or hip dysplasia, or it can occur just because your dog is getting old. Plus, if your dog has a condition like diabetes or Cushing’s disease, he may also experience arthritic symptoms.
Signs of arthritis in dogs could be pain, stiffness, and swelling in the joints. As much as we do not want to see our dogs suffering from pain and discomfort due to this condition, we can manage these symptoms through veterinary care and complementary treatments at home.
Arthritis is a progressive disease that can affect dogs at any age. It is always painful and can be difficult to manage.
One of the most important things you can do for your pet is to keep up with regular visits to your vet. It will help identify the early signs and symptoms of arthritis and rule out other possible causes of joint pain in dogs.
Checking the numerous solutions available on pet care portals like PetCareRx can help identify symptoms early. You can also seek the several care packages and tools available from such sites.
Is Your Dog’s Lifestyle Aggravating Arthritis?
As you can see, there are a lot of factors that contribute to arthritis pain in your pet. However, there are also some things that you can do to ease this pain:
- Make sure your dog is at a healthy weight
- Keep him out of the cold and heat
- Provide him with a comfortable place to rest
- Do not let him run up and down stairs unnecessarily
Diet and Nutrition
If you suspect that your dog is suffering from arthritis, it is important to seek veterinary consultation so they can get properly diagnosed and treated. However, while you are waiting for a vet appointment or after receiving treatment, you may want to experiment with adding certain foods and supplements to your dog’s diet.
Research has shown that adding omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce joint pain in dogs with arthritis. Omega-3s are most frequently available in fish such as salmon, but vegetarian sources are also available if your dog is allergic or has an aversion to fish. Many dog food brands offer omega-3 supplements as well.
Glucosamine and chondroitin are other supplements you can consider adding to your dog’s diet if they have arthritis. Glucosamine helps the body form connective tissues such as cartilage, while chondroitin provides cushioning and acts as a shock absorber for joints during movement.
MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) is yet another supplement that can potentially improve joint health by reducing inflammation and relieving arthritic symptoms through its sulfur content; however, there is little research on its efficacy in treating canine arthritis at this time.
The right amount of exercise is important for dogs who suffer from arthritis, but you must be careful not to overdo it. The ideal exercises are the ones that do not involve much weight bearing on your dog’s joints.
These exercises include swimming and walking. Swimming is a good exercise option because your dog will receive the benefits of cardiovascular exercise without putting any pressure on her joints. Depending on the condition of their joints, dogs with arthritis can usually handle about 30 minutes of moderate swimming per day without causing pain or discomfort.
If you choose to walk your dog, keep the walks to a reasonable length (about 30 minutes) and stick to a regular schedule so that your dog has time in between walks for rest and recovery. In addition, if at any time during your walks you notice that your dog is showing signs of pain or discomfort, you can stop immediately and consult with your veterinarian regarding an appropriate level of activity for her condition.
If you have tried all of the above home remedies and your dog still suffers from severe pain, it may be time to chat with your veterinarian. They will be able to prescribe anti-inflammatory medication or painkillers that are safe for canine use. However, do not give human medications to your pets. Some drugs humans can handle are lethal for dogs.
It is important to note that medication is a last resort in treating arthritis in dogs and should get used when all else fails.
Joint supplements containing substances like glucosamine or chondroitin sulfate can help repair joint tissue and improve mobility. Weight management is another way to decrease joint stress and combat pain/discomfort caused by arthritis in dogs.
The most effective treatment plans often include a combination of approaches to relieve pain from canine arthritis, such as regular exercise combined with joint supplements or NSAIDs. However, overall the owner’s goal should always be to ensure the best possible quality of life for their aging companion animal.
You can help your dog live with arthritis.
You can help your dog live with arthritis:
- Help your dog maintain a healthy weight.
- Keep your dog active and on a regular exercise routine (consult a veterinarian or other trained professional for guidance).
- Provide your dog with good nutrition, including Omega-3 fatty acids.
- Provide your dog with an orthopedic bed with plenty of padding and firm support material at its core.
- Give your dog appropriate medications as prescribed by a veterinarian.
Living with an elderly dog or a dog that suffers from arthritis can be highly rewarding and challenging. It is important to learn all you can about your dog’s condition and how to provide the best care possible.
In addition, owners must keep in mind that coping with their pet’s illness will take time and patience. They should consider working with their veterinarian to create an action plan for keeping their dog comfortable and happy.
There are plenty of options available for arthritis in dogs. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can help manage pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis.