Dogs are the friendliest of all pets mankind has ever had. Presently dogs are more prone to ailments and health issues more than its wild counterparts. This has happened mainly due to lack of immunity and their change in lifestyles. In this article, we will explore about arthritis problems that a dog undergoes.
Read through the following to make out a clear idea of arthritis and joint problems in dogs.
Arthritis or joint problems in dogs
Arthritis is a common term used to refer certain disorders or ailments in the joints. Cartilage is the main entity which protects the bones by acting as a cushion but when it gets worn away faster than its replacement rate then arthritis problems arise. In canines, it is also known as osteoarthritis or degenerative joint diseases. Dogs suffering from this ailment get pain and inflammation in its joints as the cartilage breaks over with time and no longer are able to protect the bones. Once cartilage gets weary then bones can wear and tear at a faster rate making the canine to lead a painful life. Arthritis is an ailment which cannot be cured but can be prevented if treated early.
Causes of arthritis in dogs
Canines can have arthritis due to numerous reasons and they are as follows
- Infections if not treated early and promptly may trigger the destruction of cartilage and joint tissues.
- Trauma caused to cartilage due to accidents in early life can lead to arthritis or joint problems in its later life-impairing your canine’s mobility.
- Certain breeds which are large and heavy are more prone to arthritis. For example Rottweiler’s, Labrador and German shepherds.
- Ageing is another factor which can cause corrosion of cartilage naturally.
- Obesity is another main cause which can put excess stress on joints and cartilage which are sure to create arthritis problems.
- Hereditary defects or congenital conditions may also cause arthritis in later life.
- Dislocation or fracture of bones that involves a joint may also lead to arthritis.
- Serious muscle injury, ligament or tendon degeneration can also trigger this ailment.
- Certain immune system problems can also be blamed for arthritis in canines’.
Symptoms of arthritis
- The main sign you can spot in your canine is his reluctance to move around and play.
- When dogs get this ailment they tend to slow down and keep away from playing for a long time. Gradually he will start limping as his joints become stiff and he will not like to climb up and down the stairs as he used to do before. All these changes don’t pop up in a day but it takes time as his conditions get worse.
- Swollen or swore joints along with pain in certain areas are also a classic symptom of having arthritis. Your pet will start losing his muscle flexibility and start growling when touched in certain areas.
- Overall he will tend to move around very slowly with lack of interest. While going for a jogging you can find him far behind you lagging slowly. When you start seeing such conditions make sure you don’t ignore instead take him to a vet without any delay.
Joint Support Supplement
This is a mixture of powerful anti oxidants and substance that will help in tackling arthritis is a much safer manner. It contains glucosamine which will supply your dog’s body with Glucosaminoglycans and build up collagen which is necessary to create synovial fluid in the body.
Diagnosis and treatment methods
A vet is an experienced judge who can find out the signs and pain related to arthritis in a dog. In order to find out he might overly flex your dog’s joints and come to certain conclusions. He will also order to take radiographs, x-rays and other tests to examine the present conditions. He will also check your dog’s previous history and possible inherited conditions which your pet might have acquired.
Here are some general treatment methods which you provide for your pet along with a vet’s guidance.
- Antibiotics or painkillers referred by the doctor.
- Healthy nutritional supplements which can help to replenish the wearied down cartilage.
- Balanced diet which contains everything it needs.
- Low impact exercises like swimming
- Lose weight in case of obesity
- Acupuncture treatment
- In severe cases surgery might be the option.
Natural remedies for controlling and preventing arthritis in canines’
Here are few herbs which you can include in your pets diet which can bring relief to arthritis pain and also prevent it from further progressions.
- Turmeric – this natural ingredient helps to control inflammation in joints so include this in your pet’s diet. Dogs suffering from rheumatoid arthritis can be benefited a lot with the help of the wonder herb.
- Ashwagandha – this herb helps to prevent numerous ailments like muscle fatigue, autoimmune inflammations and pain in joints. This herb is a powerful adaptogen and an anti-inflammatory herb which is very beneficial for dogs.
- Fish oil – include those fishes which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids as they can help to reduce inflammation. Make sure you always give vitamin E supplement while giving fish oils.
- Vitamin C – this is required to maintain healthy collagen and is a powerful antioxidant which has anti-inflammatory properties. So giving this supplement will benefit those dogs suffering from arthritis.
- Eleuthero – This herb is a powerful adaptogen which acts as an immune tonic and protects the muscular system. It helps to strengthen the immune system of the canine and prevents lactic acid build up. It helps in healthy blood circulation which can reduce inflammation and joint pains.
Managing a dog suffering from arthritis
Even though arthritis cannot be cured it can be managed to certain extent and slowed down by creating favorable conditions for your dogs. Whenever you find any symptom or problem do not wait but act quickly for your pet’s better health. Preventing arthritis is the better way and for that try to maintain a correct weight for your pet and exercise him regularly.
Many techniques have been evolved since decades which can help to manage arthritis problems in your pet. Surgeries are more complicated and expensive so many pet owners cannot afford such procedures so the best option is to manage this ailment with medical support. Many supplements and pain relievers are available in the markets that can help a lot to cope up with such problems. Both young and old dogs can be medically managed to get an upper hand over arthritis problems.
Obesity problems should be addressed as early as possible to cover up such problems. It is said the half of the pets in US are said to be overweight and many are at an increased risk to acquire arthritis. So make sure you help your dog to lose weight and control his diets. Don’t feed him every now and then but make sure you provide him balanced diets at regular intervals as prescribed by a vet.
Make him perform low impact exercises like swimming, walking, jogging or even climbing up and down the stairs as these may help to build muscles and reduce wear and tear of joints. Play along with the dog and provide it full support.
Provide comfort for your pet
Make your pet sleep in a comfortable bed also make sure to pamper it with massages and physical therapies. Groom you pet as he or she will find difficulty in flexing the joints and hard to reach certain areas. Place food and water in elevated areas so that your pet can consume food without having any strain to neck and spine.
Conclusion: Like human beings, dogs also undergo pain and health issues so we should always make it a point to devote proper time and energy for these wonderful creatures. Preventing this ailment right from its young age is the key to get rid of arthritis rather than ignoring. Give your pet a wonderful life by taking care of its needs in a healthy manner so that it can spend its later stages without any hassles. Let them run and play life-long free from arthritis.
The Name is Rajeev. I go by a lot of pseudo names because I just like to have fun. Like Shakespeare once said, “what’s in a Name?” or was is Shakespeare? I love to read. Mostly fiction. I am probably the most unromantic person you could ever meet. Loner, Claustrophobic and often mute! I love to sit on my porch, read a book while it’s raining. I live in a farm surrounded by creatures and my best friend is a dog named Happy. I have worked in the IT industry for the past 20 years. I have been writing a book since the past 6 which i doubt will be complete anywhere in this century! I love to design websites and fantasize being a Hacker or nerd!