Ways You Can Help
Easy, yet critical, things you can do!
It breaks our hearts to watch our beloved dogs suffer from arthritis. Canine arthritis is a painful degenerative joint disease. An estimated 10 million dogs in the United States have been diagnosed with arthritis, and 31 percent of dog owners say that bone and joint problems are an issue for their pets. Arthritis is most common in older and large breed dogs. Yet unfortunately arthritis goes undiagnosed since owners attribute the subtle changes in their dogs to old age or slowing down.
Let’s get started with the how, what, where, when, of canine arthritis. Here are some facts every dog owner should know about arthritis. . .and some easy, yet critical, things you can do to take away the pain!
The areas in which we hope to help are:
What is Canine Arthritis?
Ways to tell if Your Dog is Suffering From Arthritis?
6 Ways to Help Take Away the Pain!
Easy Things You Can Do Around the House to Make your Dog’s Life Easier
How to Treat Arthritis Naturally
The Dog Bed You Choose Makes A Big Difference!
What is Canine Arthritis?
The pain your dog experiences from arthritis is due to the breakdown of cartilage surrounding the joint causing extreme discomfort during movement – same as in humans experiencing arthritis. That is why medication for dog arthritis can be similar to the medication for human arthritis. It is always wise to check with your veterinarian.
Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints. This can cause, be caused by, or accompany arthrosis, which is a degeneration of the cartilage that surrounds aging joints. Dog of all ages can suffer from arthritis, which, like arthrosis, is a very painful disease. Arthritis is treated with analgesics and anti-inflammatory medicines.
Ways to Tell If Your Dog is Suffering From Arthritis?
How can you tell if your dog has arthritis? Wouldn’t it be easy if our beloved pets could actually tell us when they are hurting? But since they cannot speak, they are counting on us to recognize the signs of pain and decreased mobility.
What are the signs of arthritis? Being familiar with the signs and symptoms of pain can help you determine if your dog may need veterinary attention. Some of the classic symptoms of arthritis are:
Stiffness after laying down
Lagging behind on walks
Lameness (limping, hobbling)
Favoring one it its joints
Reluctance to stand, climb stairs, jump or run
Stiffness or difficulty rising to their feet
Limping/stiffness after exercise or play
A sudden lack of desire to run and play
Slow, ginger movements
Difficulty climbing stairs
Inaibility to run
Paws collapse, are dragged along the floor, or drag behind
Sudden whimpers or barks, during play, for example
Exhibits pain when touched in certain ways
Problems in defecating or urinating
They may even seem depressed.
Making a diagnosis: Your veterinarian will thoroughly examine your dog’s joint and can take X-rays in order to determine whether or not your dog is suffering from arthritis.
6 Ways to Help Take Away the Pain!
Diet – Feed your dog a natural diet high in vitamins and minerals essential for proper formation of healthy bones and tissue. Maintaining a proper weight is very important– it is key that your dog is not overweight.
Exercise--Dogs love exercise. A several 10-15 minute walks daily does better than one long walk. Another great strategy is swimming which provides exercise without stressing the joints.
Reduce Excess Weight–As mentioned earlier, the key is to maintain your dog’s proper weight. Excess weight serves to stress the already painful joints causing even more pain and swelling. Cut back on the treats and feed a lower fat diet.
Apply moist heat–Moist heat penetrates deeply and provides welcome relief. Apply a hot water bottle or a towel soaked in warm water (that has been wrung out) to the aching joint. Do not use a heating pad as it may get too hot for the dog cause a burn, especially if your dog has limited mobility and cannot easily get up and move away.
Herbs–A variety of herbs are being used for canine arthritis. Quality supplements containing glucosamine and chondroitin have been reported by many pet owners as offering relief in their dogs. Glucosamine and chondroitin work together to improve the health of joint cartilage. Since joint health depends on the continued health of this cartilage, this is a very important benefit.
Massage— Massage can increase circulation, flexibility, and sooth those aching joints and muscles. Check out professional animal massage therapists and qualified acupuncturists for a thorough treatment.
How to give a massage at home: Gently rub around the painful joint and massage the surrounding muscle. This gentle kneading and the heat from your hands should ease some of the pain.
Easy Things You Can Do Around the House to Make Your Dog’s Life Easier
Here are some important, yet easy, tips that may help your arthritic dog:
Ramps. Ramps and specialty stairs can assist in getting up upon/into higher places while keeping them safe. Those beds, stairs, furniture and vehicles can be insurmountable barriers for the arthritic pet.
Floors. Hardwood floors and tile floors can be slippery! Put down rugs or runners to prevent your dog from slipping and injuring themselves.
Maintain Ideal Weight. Obesity is a major factor in arthritis. Moderate daily exercise maintains your dog’s ideal weight while strengthening muscles and ligaments contributing to joint function. Don’t forget to explore the many special diet foods available for weight loss and joint health.
Grooming. Arthritic pets struggle with what was once routine hygiene. Help them with regular brushing to remove mats and tangles. Don’t forget to trim nails that once were worn down by exercise.
Stressful Events. Limit strenuous activity — even though they think they are still a puppy with a puppy’s energy. Be aware of stressful events – loud noises, fire crackers, thunder, noisy parties and drastic changes in schedules.
Patience. Give him the extra time to climb stairs, get up from a nap, or get in the car. Give them the love and attention they deserve — even if they are getting a bit slower.
Treating Canine Arthritis Naturally
Canine arthritis is a painful degenerative joint disease. An estimated 10 million dogs in the United States have been diagnosed with arthritis, and 31 percent of dog owners say that bone and joint problems are an issue for their pets. Arthritis is most common in older dogs. Yet unfortunately arthritis goes undiagnosed since owners attribute the subtle changes in their dogs to old age or slowing down.
Pet owners are searching for natural ways is which to treat arthritis in their dogs. A number of prescription and over the counter drugs are available in the treatment of canine arthritis, yet unfortunately these medications have a number of unpleasant and even dangerous side effects. For this reason, many owners are searching for natural alternatives to these traditional medications. The good news is there are a number of supplements and natural treatments showing great promise for our beloved pets suffering with arthritis.
Quality supplements containing glucosamine and chondroitin have been reported by many pet owners as offering relief in their dogs. Glucosamine and chondroitin work together to improve the health of joint cartilage. Since joint health depends on the continued health of this cartilage, this is a very important benefit. Healthy joints are not only important in the ability of dogs to perform well, but also for the comfort of dogs in routine movements such as walking, climbing stairs, and rising.
MSM, which stand for methylsulfonylmethane, is another popular remedy for arthritis. MSM provides sulfur which is critical in the formation of collagen and glucosamine which are vital components for healthy bones, joints, ligaments, and tendons.