Arthritis In Dogs - The Best Treatment
Just like people do, dogs can develop arthritis as they get older. Arthritis is basically pain and inflammation in your dog’s joints. It’s probably one of the most common health problems in older dogs, so it’s useful to know a little about it including the symptoms and how it can be treated.
If you have a dog there’s a high chance you will have to deal with arthritis at some point. Over the years your dog’s joints get worn through exercise and activity. Due to the wear and tear they are put through they can eventually wear out.
Younger dogs can get arthritis if they are born with abnormal bones or if they get a serious injury early on in life it can sometimes lead to arthritis. Some of the signs of arthritis include reduced movement and a reluctance to exercise. Your dog might not be able to do some of the things they used to be able to do such as jumping up into the car or playing for an extended period of time.
Dogs with arthritis also experience stiffness, so they may struggle to get up or get out of certain positions. After sitting or lying down for long periods they will appear stiff as they attempt to get up. Their range of movement will be significantly reduced and they may also look stiff and uncomfortable when they are walking. They may also show pain when touched in certain areas and have swollen joints.
With older dogs it’s extremely important to make sure they don’t get overweight. This puts a lot of pressure on their joints and can make arthritis much worse and far more painful. Keep an eye on your dog’s weight as they get older, especially if they are suffering with arthritis.
If you think your dog might have arthritis then take them straight to your vet. They will be able to confirm your suspicions and identify whether or not your dog has arthritis. They will be able to tell by assessing your dog and they may take an x-ray to confirm if your dog definitely has arthritis.
There are a few things you can do to try and slow down and reduce the effects of arthritis in your dog. Firstly, you can start off by feeding your older dog a diet that is specifically tailored to their age. Purchase senior dog food that contains ingredients which help with joint care. to purchase some dry food that’s specifically formulated for older dogs.
Other things you can do include making sure that they don’t overdo it when it comes to exercising, especially if they already have signs of arthritis. Hydrotherapy is a really good form of exercise as it is low impact which is better for your dog’s joints.
A warm bed can be beneficial for dogs with arthritis as it helps to keep their joints warm and more mobile. Try and prevent your dog from getting cold as this will make their joints stiff and worsen the pain.
Fitting ramps in your home and in your car can also help them to get around easier and reduce the strain on their joints. There are also a range of physical and complementary therapies available such as physio, acupuncture, canine massage and reflexology. Some of these treatments can help but ask your vet about what your dog can do as some treatments may do more harm than good when it comes to arthritis. The last thing you want to do is irritate your dog’s joints.
Once your older dog is diagnosed with arthritis your vet will give them medication and pain relief to help manage the their arthritis. They will also talk to you about how to properly care for your dog and how you can help to make them more comfortable.