Pets and Arthritis

Pets and Arthritis

One of the most common canine health issues is, as they age the are more prone to developing arthritis.  Though there is no permanent solution to your ailing dog ‘s degenerative joint disease. But as a pet owner,you can do your bit in helping with reducing joint pain and inflammation.

The constant wear and tear of your dog’s joints can pose a serious threat in the long run. Identifying the symptoms of arthritis can be difficult as it affects them slowly and gradually elevates. But it is always advisable to see a vet as soon as you notice any sign of slow movement or limping or stiffness in movement. Observe for obesity, cold, and dampness as these can also make symptoms worse.

Listed below are some precautionary measures and treatment advice to help your furry friend with upheaval of the arthritis pain:

  1. Giving natural supplements like Glucosamine and Chondroitin can help protect arthritic joints. Also omega fatty acid supplements made from fish oil can help reduce inflammation and strengthen body tissues.
  2. Providing dog’s arthritic joints the comforting support they need with an orthopedic bed can prove to be beneficial. The comfort can help ease the stiffness and reduce pain. . Studies have shown that warmth can also make achy joints feel better. Consider getting a bed heater for added comfort.
  3. Massaging your dog’s painful joints gently can help provide some relief to your pet and ease its joint pain too.
  4. Being fit and active is vital for your pet. Moderate exercises daily helps in keeping joints flexible and help maintain muscle mass. It’s best to provide short periods of gentle exercise. Going for short walks daily is a great way. Apart from walking, the best exercise for your dog is swimming as it puts no impact on the joints.
  5. Being overweight is an issue that can pose a threat to your pet’s life. Reducing the amount of treats you give can help. If your dog is overweight, feeding only as per the diet recommended  by your Vet is crucial.
  6. Providing ramps or doggy steps for easier access is a good way to help ease joint pain. Slings and other devices also help lift an arthritic dog. Considering arthritic friendly options can help your dog’s ailing joints.
  7. Similar to ramps, elevating bowls to make them accessible while feeding your pet helps with the strain on the neck and spine thus easing the pain.
  8. When walking is painful, dogs become less confident in their stride, creating issues with balance and coordination. Slick surfaces like tile or wood are more difficult to navigate and provide no cushioning to absorb impact on painful joints. Carpeting will cushion your dog’s step, making walking easier and less painful.
  9. It is important to keep your pet’s nails properly trimmed as overgrown nails can be agonizing pain, which can change their regular walking patterns. Changes in gait can also put unusual pressure on joints and ligaments, negatively affecting non-arthritic joints.
  10. Physiotherapy has shown good results in many dogs. You might consider acupuncture, hydrotherapy, whirlpool or chiropractic treatments to reduce pain and help keep your dog more active.

Though arthritis is not curable but it can be controlled. Developing a management plan along with your Veterinarian can help your dog deal with the pain and stiffness.