Have you noticed that your furry friend is having trouble getting up and down the stairs or seems to be limping when you are out for your daily walk? Could it be arthritis? It is quite possible.
One in five dogs suffers from canine arthritis, according to the Arthritis Foundation. Knowing the signs of canine arthritis will help you manage your pet’s condition. It is hard to see your best friend in pain, and knowing there are ways to decrease that pain can be helpful as a pet owner.
Read on to find out how you can manage your dog’s arthritis:
Breeds That Are Prone to Arthritis
Some dog breeds are more prone to arthritis than others. Below is a brief list indicating which areas of their body are usually the most affected by arthritis. This is not a comprehensive list but gives a general picture of those breeds that may be inflicted the most by arthritis.
- Labradors (hips and elbows)
- Springer Spaniels (hips and elbows)
- German Shepherds (spine, hips, elbows)
- Golden Retrievers (hips)
- Rottweilers (hips and elbows)
- Bernese mountain dogs (hips and elbows)
Labradoodle rescue sites indicate that 20% of all Labradoodles suffer from arthritis at some stage of their life. Moreover, Labradoodles, Labradors and Retrievers have a higher prevalence for Osteoarthritis, and thus their owners should manage their dog’s lifestyle accordingly.
Signs of Arthritis
What should you be on the lookout for when it comes to canine arthritis? Sometimes, we might not be able to see it, but our dog is struggling and in pain.
Let us look at some telltale signs of arthritis in dogs:
- Your dog has difficulty getting up after taking a nap or lying down for sometime
- Your dog can’t jump onto a bed, couch or go upstairs
- Your dog’s rear limbs look narrow and wasted
- Your dog feels reluctant to exercise or walk and run
- Your dog seems to get worse when it is damp, or it rains
Experts recommend taking dogs to the vet when you notice the signs of arthritis. It is best to consult a vet as soon as the symptoms appear to identify and address the health issue asap.
A quick response can help you manage your dog’s arthritis in a better way.
How Your Veterinarian will Manage Arthritis in Dogs
There are several ways that your vet will diagnose and treat your dog’s arthritis. The first thing your vet will do is examine your dog thoroughly to see which joints are affected by arthritis.
They may do x-rays to pinpoint the exact limbs that are suffering from arthritis. They may also do blood tests to see if there are any underlying conditions associated with arthritis.
Treatments that your vet may suggest may include one or more of the following:
- Cartilage protectors
- Weight loss Program
- Nutraceuticals (supplements)
- Anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Joint supplements
How to Help a Dog with Arthritis at Home
You can manage your dog’s arthritis at home with some simple remedies. After visiting the vet and getting medical advice, you might have no choice but to create a system at home where you can keep your pet comfortable.
Here are some tried and tested ways:
· Soft Bed
Offer a soft bed for your dog, which will make them more comfortable when lying down. You can purchase Orthopaedic dog beds that are made for arthritic dogs. Hard surfaces are not good for dogs with arthritis.
· Slip-Free Floors
Install slip-free floors so your dog does not slip when trying to get up or lay down. Hardwood and tile floors will cause your dog to slip, which will aggravate their limbs. If you have some extra carpets, that will help your dog not slip.
· Install Ramps
Install ramps that will help your pet go up and downstairs so that they do not have to climb up steps. Climbing up and down may further aggravate your dog’s limbs.
Massage your dog after consultation with your vet. This can help to make sure your dog’s limbs do not get stiff. You can even book a professional dog massage therapist for your dog.
Try and make sure you make time to exercise every day. It is important that a dog with arthritis gets out and moves so that its limbs and muscles do not get stiff.
· Groom More
Because an older dog that suffers from arthritis cannot groom himself or herself in hard-to-reach areas, it is important to support them. You should make more time to groom your dog if they suffer from arthritis.
Natural Pain Relief for Arthritis – CBD Oil
Recently some new natural pain relief options for canine arthritis have come out. Some vets are prescribing them. One of them that has gained considerable popularity is CBD oil.
CBD oil is derived from Cannabis, and Hemp has been found to help with arthritis pain. Because of limited regulation of CBD oil, it may be difficult to predict concentration, purity, potential benefits, or side effects. Therefore, more research and trials are needed to know the side effects and potential benefits of the oil. If it is something you would like to try, then you would need to talk to your vet first.
It can be confusing when trying to keep your dog comfortable when they have arthritis. Below are some common questions and answers you might have when trying to manage canine arthritis.
Should You Continue Exercising Your Pet?
Yes, you should. It is recommended that your arthritic dog should get at least 30-60 minutes of exercise daily.
Can I Diagnose Arthritis at Home?
No. It is recommended that you visit your vet, who will perform a complete examination and tests to accurately diagnose arthritis in your dog.
What Causes Arthritis in Dogs?
Age, weight, and breed are all factors that can cause arthritis. Genetics plays an important role as well as lifestyle factors. Your dog’s exercise and diet will impact the development of arthritis.
How effective is Arthritic Treatment in Dogs?
After visiting your vet, simple changes in your dog’s diet and exercise routine can help to manage pain. Your vet may prescribe additional medication that will help to control the development of arthritis.
Easing a Senior Dog’s Arthritis with a Few Simple Tips
From the above, it is clear that with a few simple steps, you can manage your dog’s arthritis. After diagnosis, you will better understand what your dog’s needs are. Managing pain and making changes in your dog’s diet and exercise will help to make sure that their condition improves and they are not in pain