Arthritis in dogs is a progressive disease that causes joint pain, and one that will afflict most dogs as they age. Dogs that suffer from this ailment end up with damaged joints that lack appropriate cushioning, resulting in their bones rubbing directly against each other.
Dog arthritis is a disease that progresses as time goes on and it has no known cure although stem cell therapy has shown to be very effective. Vet clinics such as stem cell safari, safari veterinary care centers are top choices for stem cell treatment regardless of the type of arthritis in dogs.
What causes arthritis in dogs
Several factors can cause arthritis in dogs including their age, extent of injuries, genetics, history, size, and weight.
Arthritis in dogs symptoms
Popular dog arthritis symptoms include: difficulty getting up, stiff or lethargic movement, sudden weight gain, behavioral changes like the dog becoming very irritable, loss of energy, and pain when touched. Your vet doctor will do a physical examination that would most likely include a neurological assessment to rule out other joint problems, perform a series of blood tests and run x-rays.
Helping a dog with arthritis
There are several ways to help a dog with arthritis. Some of the methods include:
1) Medication and natural remedies
Based on your dog’s exam findings and medical history, your veterinarian will come up with a dog arthritis treatment plan. He or she might prescribe dog arthritis medicine to help decrease joint pain.
Arthritis medication for dogs consists of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), opioid medications, Muscle relaxants, medications to reduce nerve pain, and arthritis in the dog’s legs. There are also natural remedies for arthritis in dogs such as comfrey, turmeric, and alfalfa that are just as effective in reducing joint pain.
2) Maintaining a healthy weight
The joints of an overweight dog are subjected to more stress which could worsen arthritis. Therefore, it is important to maintain a healthy weight in order to help your dog minimize the unnecessary stress to its joints.
3) Proper Nutrition
It is in the best interest of your dog to avoid processed food as it could cause inflammation to the joints. It is better to opt for natural whole grains and fruits instead. Vegetables are also very good for your dog as they are very rich in nutrients such as antioxidants that help fight against inflammation. I also recommend fatty oils such as omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon or sardines.
4) Exercise but do not overdo it
Light exercises such as walking, swimming, and hide and seek, and are great activities for a dog with arthritis to engage in. However, avoid strenuous exercises as they can worsen arthritis in the dog’s back legs and even front legs. It may seem like fun in the short term, but your dog could get injured or suffer increased joint pain.
5) Short nails and dog nail grips
Make sure to keep your dog’s nails clipped short. If you notice that your dog is having trouble getting a grip on slippery surfaces, consider trying dog nail grips. It helps dogs move with confidence by providing extra traction and improving the brain’s perception of where the limbs and feet are positioned.
6) Nonslip Rugs
Dogs with arthritis and joint pains have a fear of walking on slippery surfaces because they have limited mobility and they feel so much pain when they fall. Nonslip rugs placed on slippery floors can help your dog get around the house easily without the fear of slipping.
7) Orthopedic Dog Beds
Comfortable dog beds that are low to the ground and have orthopedic support will ease your dog’s joint pain and allow them to get back up without struggling.
Dog massages are so beneficial for so many reasons. It eases sore muscles, lowers blood pressure, and reduces the stress levels of the dog.
9) Ramps and steps
Ramps and steps can help your dog get up and down from the couch or bed, on and off of the deck, or in and out of the car. Also, if you don’t want your dog to use the stairs, consider using baby gates to block these areas.
10) Use an absorbent mat
Place the meals of the dog on an absorbent mat so that spilled water will not cause your dog to slip and fall.