Bring On The Exercise In Moderation
If you have watched your arthritic dog get up after lying down for awhile, or if you are afflicted with arthritis yourself, you know that creatures with arthritis may have a stiff gait. The longer they stay in one position, the harder it is for them to get up and go.
Exercise is important for all dogs regardless of their weight. It is also great for dog parents. Getting some fresh air and a chance to stretch your legs together can be a great way to increase your bond with your dog. Additionally, it can be a fun way to help your dog with arthritis at home.
Short and slow walks around the neighborhood can keep your dog limber and help an overweight dog burn more calories. In addition, these walks help maintain muscle mass to stabilize the joints. Swimming also makes a great low-impact exercise for arthritic dogs and can be an enjoyable treat in the summer heat.
Dogs dont always know their limits, so beware of letting your dog sprint or do other high-impact exercises. Also avoid the weekend warrior model of exercise. It may be seem fun in the short term, but your dog could get injured or suffer increased joint pain.
Should I Do Anything Else To Help My Dog Be More Comfortable
There are simple things that any dog owner can provide to a dog with OA that can help with comfort and mobility. These include:
- Soft, padded bedding
- Raised food and water dishes
- Non-skid floor surfaces
- A ramp for entering and leaving a vehicle
- Adhering to prescribed feeding and medication recommendations
Surgical Options For Canine Arthritis
There are several surgical arthritis in dogs treatment options. Which one is best for your dog is something you need to discuss with a DVM.
Total Joint Replacement. This is surgical arthritis in dogs treatment where the entire hip joint is removed in dogs with joint health problems like arthritis and hip dysplasia. Joint replacement is not cost-efficient for older dogs.
During the procedure, both the ball and socket are replaced with artificial components. The ball is usually replaced with a metallic ball while the socket is replaced with a plastic socket.
Removal of the Femoral Head. This surgical arthritis in dogs treatment involves the cutting of the head and neck of the femur . After the surgery, the scar tissue helps to stabilize the joint.
The surgery is mostly done in small animals since they dont have as much weight to support. After about three months, a small dogs hip joint is expected to be functioning as normal.
Arthrodesis. This is more complex arthritis in dogs treatment option. It refers to a procedure where the two bones at the joint levels are cut and fused together to form one bone. The orthopedic surgeon removes the cartilage at the joint, cuts a portion of the bones off, and joins them.
Arthroscopic Surgery. Arthroscopy is popular arthritis in dogs treatment option as it is a minimally invasive procedure that allows the preservation of joint stability. Plus, it allows the veterinary surgeon to examine the joint cartilage up close.
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What Can I Give My Dog For Arthritis And Joint Pain
Nothing can replace professional advice from your veterinarian when it comes to managing your dogs arthritis pain. However, the treatment of arthritis like acupuncture or massages are usually given at your vets office, so you may be looking for alternative ways to treat dog arthritis at home.
Heres what you can give your dog to increase their comfort and bring that broad smile back on their face once again.
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Medications To Treat Arthritis In Dogs
Your veterinarian may decide to perform a blood test to determine if your dog is eligible for prescription medication, like non-steroidal anti-inflammatories , to help manage arthritis pain. If your dog is suitable, your veterinarian will work with you on the specifics of dosage and administering the medication. Remember that human NSAIDs, like Ibuprofen or Naproxen, are toxic medications to dogs and should never be given to them for pain relief.
Natural And Herbal Arthritis Remedies Procedure In Dogs
There are many herbal remedies to tackle inflammation and pain, however approaching the overall health and lifestyle of your dog can do more to improve their battle with arthritis. As well as this, prescription, conventional medicine such as pain relief is usually needed to ensure your dog has a good quality of life and is free from pain.
Inflammation and Pain Remedies
Comfrey has pain relief and anti-inflammatory properties. You can add ½ to 1 teaspoon to your dogs food. If you can find the dried herb in natural food stores, comfrey can be added to a warm compress for localized pain relief.
Frankincense is an all-around perfect herbal remedy. With anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidant properties. Frankincense is used around the world for many ailments. Essential oils or a dried Frankincense herb can be added to your dogs food.
Yucca is often used in arthritis medications for humans as well as animals. Yucca is easy to find in health food stores. Adding Yucca to your dogs diet is easy to do with capsules or the dried herb.
Alfalfa is another widely-used herb for pain management and inflammation. Much alfalfa is genetically modified, so look for organic alfalfa in your local health food store or grow your own. Add the dried herb before flowering directly to your dogs food or provide capsules inside a treat.
Overall Health and Diet
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How Much Does It Cost To Treat Arthritis In Dogs
The cost of arthritis in dogs treatment depends on the case. Treating a dog with light signs and symptoms can cost as low as $25 a month for pain medication and joint supplements.
On the other hand, a dog with severe arthritis may require up to $5000 for a surgical operation and post-operative care. These costs may not be feasible for dog parents unless they have a good pet health insurance plan.
The One Vet insurance plan is the ideal plan for any dog parent. For less than $1 a day, you can get access to a licensed vet, $3000 per year for vet bills, and cover for all pre-existing conditions. The insurance makes arthritis in dogs treatment accessible to all pet owners.
Cbd Oil For Arthritis In Dogs Treatment
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a cannabinoid extracted from hemp or marijuana. CBD, through its action on the receptors in the endocannabinoid system , is able to have positive effects on the body, two of which are anxiety and pain relief.
CBD relieves pain by lowering inflammation levels in the body. The compound acts upon several receptors and enzymes, resulting in reducing inflammatory compounds in the body.
When choosing CBD, it is very important to choose a high-quality supplement to reduce the likelihood of side effects like gastrointestinal stress and drowsiness. Also, CBD for dogs has to be extracted from hemp and THC-free.
The Honest Paws CBD oil is derived from hemp and is designed specifically for mobility purposes. The oil also contains turmeric as a proven antioxidant and anti-inflammatory herb. A few daily drops for your dog will help her with her stiffness, discomfort, and mobility.
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Dog Arthritis Exercise And Diet Management
Exercise and nutrition can go a long way when it comes to arthritis in dogs treatment and management.
Nutritional Diet. Feeding your dog with a high-quality, nutritious diet can help manage arthritis progression. Your vet should be able to recommend a high-quality diet, some of which even have added ingredients to help support joint health.
Proper Exercise. Physical exercise benefits dogs with arthritis by reducing joint stiffness and improving mobility. It also helps overweight dogs achieve healthy body weight. Physical exercise for arthritic dogs shouldnt be very intense to prevent further degeneration of the joints.
Cease physical exercise when your dog shows signs of fatigue or pain like limping, lameness, panting, or hesitation. Ideally, talk to your vet in terms of how much activity per day your dog needs and can handle.
Weight Management. Obesity is a major risk factor for arthritis, particularly osteoarthritis. Encourage your dog to lose excess weight to achieve a more lean conformation that minimizes the pressure she puts on her joints. Healthy weight loss is best achieved with a healthy diet and physical exercise.
Ways To Help An Arthritic Dog
When your dog is in pain, you want to help him feel better fast. Luckily, there are quite a few things you can do to relieve the aches that are an everyday occurrence for dogs with arthritis:
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How Do Dogs Get Arthritis
Many of us have been told that arthritis is a normal part of canine aging.
While plenty of our senior canine friends will suffer from this joint disease at some point, it is not actually a result of the standard aging process.
Arthritis in dogs develops due to certain lifestyle and environmental factors, or a combination of the many factors listed below.
How You Can Ease Your Senior Dog’s Arthritis Pain
You recognize the signs. The slow hobble to greet you at the door where once your dog practically leaped at the chance to put his paws on you. The laborious clamber from a resting position to standing.
These are clear signs of arthritis pain and it affects between 60 70% of dogs.
Other signs include limping, reluctance to go up and down stairs and generally, a lethargy where you once had an active pooch.
When you think about it, its not surprising that arthritis pain slows down even the most enthusiastic dog greeting. After all, its condition where the cartilage has worn away and now your dog experiences bone grinding against bone when he gets up. No wonder so many of those movements look less than graceful!
Why theres no cure for arthritis pain, there are treatment plans you and your veterinarian can employ to ease the pain.
Of course, if youre like most pet lovers, you may wonder what causes arthritis and if its a natural extension of old age? In other words, what brings this painful condition on in the first place?
First, arthritis is often caused by a ligament damage that hasnt healed properly. Have you ever seen a dog go airborne for a frisbee and then have a rough landing? That rough landing can have consequences later in life.
But what about the dogs that have never been especially active and who might be smaller? Well, arthritis can and does affect many dogs and we dont always know all the reasons why.
So whats a pet lover to do?
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Limit Mobility Commands To Only When Necessary
Surely your dog has earned a lifetime supply of treats simply because theyre awesome. Now that your dog has arthritis and youre trying to treat the condition at home, its a good time to stop insisting that your dog sit, lay down shake paws etc, in order to receive a treat.
If you still want your dog to perform for treats, you could ask for a kiss , hug or a bark or hide them in places that are easy to find and access.
What Is Arthritis In Dogs
With the canine joint playing such a vital role in movement, you can begin to understand how much of an impact arthritis has on a dog.
Arthritis is the degeneration or inflammation of the canine joint, causing the cartilage within the joint to become brittle over time.
Not only can this be extremely painful for the dog affected, but it can make it extremely challenging to carry out normal tasks.
The cartilage in a dogs joint acts as a cushion each time they take a step. When the cushion between the connecting bones becomes brittle over time, this increases the risk of damage to the connecting bones.
The ends of the bone can begin to rub together, causing even more inflammation in an already irritated joint.
Not only can the bones begin to rub together, but the healthy joint fluid produced in the cartilage will decrease as well.
Without this necessary lubrication of the joint, boney formations can begin to form in the area. When this happens, an already stiff joint will become even more limited.
Inflammation is not only painful for a dog, but it can lead to a devastating cycle of destruction.
The longer the inflammation is present in a joint without medical intervention, the more damage you can expect to see down the line.
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Moderate Exercise And Physical Therapy
Physical therapy, massage, and daily exercise can be very beneficial to dogs with arthritis.
Consider daily exercise in moderation: Start with short walks, up to 10 or 15 minutes, three to four times per day. Following the same routine every day without high-impact activities is key to giving your dog some exercise without increasing stress or pain.
Speak with your veterinarian about consulting a certified small animal physical rehabilitation practitioner. They can lead your dog through therapeutic exercises like passive stretching, range of motion exercises, controlled walking with obstacles, and using underwater treadmills.
Install Gates Lots Of Them
When it comes to keeping your arthritic dog safe from further injury the old saying prevention is the best medicine rings true.
Stair Gates: You remember early I talked about disabling my doorbell after my dog injured himself flying down the stairs, well if I had installed a gate, the injury would never have happened.
Gates will also stop your older arthritic dog from falling down the stairs at night or when youre not home. This one little preventative measure could save your arthritic dog from taking a fall that impacts mobility permanently.
I highly recommend gating off staircases on the bottom and the top if your arthritic dog is prone to running down stairs or is becoming visually impaired or suffering night vision loss.
The cheaper wood expandable gates will work, but you have to remove them every time you want to go up or down the stairs. I have this, but youll have to measure to see if theyd work for you: Stairway Gate with Access .
Room Gates: can also be used to isolate your dog to one room during the day, which is my preferred method, thus limiting your arthritic dogs exposure to accidents throughout the home.
Porch Gate:Now this only applies if your porch leads to your front door where people come a knockin.
As for a porch gate, I made my own barrier out of an old futon frame and I can personally attest that it keeps most solicitors from entering my porch and getting my arthritic dog all riled up.
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Incorporate Morning Oily Fish Treats
One jar or can of salmon, sardines or mackerel is pretty cheap at the grocery store and are natural foods that studies show decrease inflammation associated with arthritis. Give your arthritic dog one or two sardines each morning for an omega fatty acid boost.
For best results, make sure the sardines are packed in water or oil and not tomato or spicy variables. Give the treats daily so your arthritic dog benefits from the compound effects of fatty fish oil.
Arthritis In Dogs: How To Manage Pain
At the end of the day, although an arthritis diagnosis might seem frightening, there are many different methods and strategies available to you to help your dog and manage his pain. Your veterinarian can help you find the right plan based on your dog specifically and answer any questions you may have throughout the process.
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