Canine Arthritis Treatment

For dogs suffering from arthritis, canine arthritis treatment helps to relieve the joint pain and inflammation that occur. Find out what are the different types of treatments available.

Canine arthritis is a degenerative joint disease whereby the joints have became inflamed, resulting in chronic pain, swelling in the joints and reduced mobility. At last count, in a study by Pfizer Animal Health, approximately 8 million adult dogs in the United States may be affected with this painful condition.

What Causes Canine Arthritis

There are many reasons why your dog may suffer from canine arthritis. Some of the common reasons are: genetic malformation of bone structure, trauma or infection, torn ligaments or tendons, overweight puppy during growth process, and poor nutrition. Disorders like hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia can also result in dog arthritis.

Signs and Symptoms

While some dogs develop arthritis in the first half of their lives, however in most cases, canine arthritis affects dogs that are seven years or older. Dogs with arthritis usually show the following symptoms:

  • Slow to get up from a resting position
  • Joints seem stiff or lame when he or she walks
  • Sudden lack of interest in activities they one enjoy
  • Reluctance to run, jump or climb stairs
  • Unusual aggression when you make physical contact with your pet

Medication and Treatments For Canine Arthritis

Canine arthritis treatment will depend on the cause and severity of the condition and may likely include the following:

1. NSAID’s (Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs)

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as dog arthritis aspirin are effective for alleviating pain for your dog. However, like other medication, NSAIDs do carry a risk of side effects, where it may cause liver and kidney failure. One should always consult a veterinarian before administering NSAIDs.

2. Steroids

Steroids are used to treat dog arthritis since they are potent inhibitors of inflammation and very useful for pain relief. Like NSAIDs, steroids may also cause side effects like, hair loss, muscle weakness and ulcers of the mouth and stomach.

3. Surgery

Undergoing surgery can help to repair your dog’s malfunctioned cartilage and joints. Your vet may recommend surgery only for dogs who continue to experience pain and lameness despite medical treatment. However, this method can be very taxing as the recovery can be painful.

4. Natural Cures and Supplements

If you want to opt for natural methods for canine arthritis treatment, you can try out the following medically proven cures:

  • Glucosamine

Glucosamine helps to maintain your dog’s joint health supplementing the amount of glucosamine that is found in the cartilage and synovial fluid. It reduces inflammation and heals the damaged tissues around the joints.

  • Chondroitin Sulphate

Chondroitin sulphate, derived from shark cartilage, works synergistically with glucosamine to repair the damaged cartilage.

Future Prevention

Seeing your dog in constant pain can be very heart wrenching. Therefore, prevention is very important in arthritic conditions, because once the joints are distorted, the damage has been done. The following are some preventative measures you can take:

Proper Exercise

Keep your dog active by letting it exercise regularly. Exercise increases muscle tone, is good for the pet's cardiovascular system and encourages the well-being of the pet. For dogs affected with severe arthritis, swimming is ideal as it helps strengthens the muscles and ligaments without placing too much stress on the joints itself.

Diet and Weight Loss

Obese dogs run a higher risk of developing canine arthritis and the condition will be even more difficult to cope with if your pet is overweight. Establishing good eating habits for your pet to keep him from becoming obese is a prevention technique that every dog owner should practice.

Massage Therapy

Massage has many therapeutic benefits. Giving your dog a good massage helps to increase blood circulation, helps relax tight muscles, promotes healing, improves flexibility, and releases stress.

Beds for Dogs With Arthritis

Orthopedic beds for dogs with arthritis can help reduce inflammation and swelling in the joints. It helps to eliminate pressure points, which improves blood circulation and aids in the healing process.

As a dog owner, you know that caring for your arthritic pet can be a challenge. But thanks to extraordinary advances in veterinary medicine and pet nutrition, dogs are living longer, and with the right kind of canine arthritis treatment, you help your dog stay healthy and happy well into his golden years.

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