What Is Arthritis?
Canine arthritis, also known as osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease, is characterized by pain and inflammation in a dog’s joints. Arthritis is caused by the breaking down of smooth cartilage that covers and protects the bones that form a joint. Once the bones are exposed, painful wear and tear can occur.
What Are The Symptoms Of Arthritis In Dogs?
-Display lameness in certain limbs
-Seem to find certain positions uncomfortable or painful
-Be hesitant to jump, run or climb stairs
-Show stiffness or discomfort when getting up from a lying-down position
-Seem to experience pain when touched in certain areas
How Is Canine Arthritis Diagnosed?
A veterinarian may conduct a physical exam, take radiographs and perform other diagnostic tests to help determine the cause of your dog’s pain. He or she will also check your dog’s medical history for previous injuries and consider possible inherited conditions.
Can Canine Arthritis Be Prevented?
Keeping your dog fit with exercise and proper nutrition may, in some cases, help prevent arthritis, or possibly slow its progression once the condition has set in.In fact, if your dog is a larger breed, it’s necessary to monitor the type and amount of food given when his bones are still growing. However, arthritic conditions cannot always be predicted or prevented, especially those that are inherited.
How Can Canine Arthritis Be Treated?
Once symptoms of arthritis set in, there is no cure. It’s important for you to work with your veterinarian to create a program to minimize your dog’s pain while keeping him healthy. Some general treatment options may include:
-Possible use of antibiotics, painkillers or anti-inflammatory medications
-Healthy diet and regular, low-impact exercise
-Weight loss, if necessary
-Thorough research of new products on the market that may ease your pet’s discomfort
-Possible use of nutritional supplements to help replenish cartilage
Note: Please do not give your dog human medication without first checking with your vet.
How Can I Make My Dog More Comfortable?
-Place food and water bowls on a low table or crate, or in a raised feeder, to avoid neck and spine strain.
-Have short, gentle play sessions.
-Give him or her soft bedding.
Are Dogs with Arthritis Able to Exercise?
-Generally, dogs with arthritis should engage in daily low-impact exercise such as walking or, if possible, swimming.