Next Steps After Diagnosis
Once you have a diagnosis, you can move forward with a treatment plan recommended by your vet. It may involve lifestyle changes, changes to your home environment such as switching to anorthopedic dog bed, and arthritis medications. Although arthritis is a chronic condition, it doesnt mean your dog has to live in pain for the rest of their life. You can help them stay healthy and regain mobility to improve their quality of life so you can look forward to many more happy years together.
Understanding The Severity Of Arthritis And When To Put A Pet To Sleep
Arthritis is not an automatic death sentence.
Animals and people may enjoy many healthy, productive years while suffering from arthritis.
And these days, there are more treatment options for both people and pets than ever before.
That said, severe cases of arthritis may make it necessary to put your pet to sleep.
While medications may provide relief, over time these medications may no longer prove effective.
Putting suffering animals to sleep is a mercy.
While euthanizing your pet may be hard, causing emotional duress, the time may come when its in your pets best interests to put him or her to sleep.
If youre struggling to care for ailing your pet, this too could impact her quality of life.
Euthanasia may be in her best interest and yours as well.
Arthritis often causes severe swelling, which in turn creates pain.
Your pet might struggle simply to walk or eat.
She may also suffer severe pain even while lying down.
That said, treatment may provide relief.
Anti-inflammatory drugs are a common type of treatment and could reduce swelling.
Meanwhile, painkillers and physical therapy may provide pain relief.
With the right pet arthritis treatment, your pet may still enjoy a high quality of life.
With rheumatoid arthritis, immunosuppressive medications may help your pet get her immune system under control.
However, immunosuppressive medications can also decrease the immune systems ability to fight off pathogens and other diseases.
Arthritis In Dogs Is The Biggest Cause Of Chronic Pain Particularly In Older Pets With Early Diagnosis And Appropriate Management Your Pet Can Continue To Lead A Happy Life
Arthritis in dogs is an extremely common condition and the main cause of chronic pain in dogs. According to Canine Arthritis Management, Osteoarthritis affects an estimated four out of five older dogs, and sadly its progressive meaning that it cannot be cured and gradually worsens. However, there are plenty of management options available to help slow the disease progression and alleviate the symptoms. Many dogs continue to live a happy and otherwise healthy life after diagnosis.
If you suspect your senior dog has arthritis, youll probably be wondering about the symptoms and the current dog arthritis treatment and management options available. To help, weve created this guide to tell you everything you need to know about arthritis in dogs.
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Control Your Dog’s Weight
Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight is an important part of slowing disease progression as excess weight puts more pressure on your dog’s painful joints and can promote inflammation. Your veterinarian can help you develop a plan that includes a target weight, what kind of food to provide, how much to provide, and when to provide it. Some prescription diets for dogs are designed to both manage weight and provide joint support.
How Do I Know If My Dog Has Arthritis
19th September, 2019
Is your four-legged friend struggling to get down from the sofa? Perhaps they dont run to greet you as you open the front door anymore? Your dog could be suffering from arthritis, which causes inflammation of the joints and limits their mobility.
Like humans, dogs are susceptible to arthritis, also known as a degenerative joint disease .
However, canine arthritis is particularly common, affecting 4 out of 5 older dogs. It can also affect younger, more active canines, depending on their breed, weight and general health.
Osteoarthritis is the most common cause of chronic pain in canines, and this affects multiple joints at any one time.
It can disrupt everyday life for your dog, due to the abnormal rubbing that takes place between joints.
The most common areas affected by arthritis in canines are the elbows, hips, knees, lower back and wrists.
While arthritis cannot be cured, you can help your dog with the symptoms.
Once the cartilage is damaged, a full recovery is rare however with proper treatment and care, you can still do your best to make sure they remain a happy hound.
We can empathise with the discomfort caused by arthritis, so its important to consider how this might be affecting your pet.
This way, you can begin treatment early, halt the progression of the disease and preserve their quality of life.
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Theyre Unexpectedly Aggressive Or Irritable When Touched
Its quite normal that dogs experiencing chronic pain such as arthritis will be more distressed.
This might manifest itself in feeling irritated when petted, particularly in areas where they might be experiencing arthritic pain, such as their lower back.
They might be unexpectedly aggressive towards humans, or other dogs.
Control Your Dog’s Pain
“Pain control is the foundation,” Login explains. That’s because if your dog hurts, he’s probably not going to want to exercise. And if your dog won’t exercise, it becomes more difficult to control her weight.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as carprofen are the most common arthritis medicines for dogs, Login says. But if your dog doesn’t tolerate these drugs well, your veterinarian may recommend some other options to try.
You aren’t limited to pharmaceuticals when it comes to pain control, however. Talk to your veterinarian about your options, and whether holistic veterinary careincluding treatments like acupuncture, laser therapy, massage therapy, physical therapy, aqua therapy, and stem cell therapymight help. Your dog could also be a candidate for supplements like omega-3-fatty acids, glucosamine, and chondroitin.
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How Are Dogs Diagnosed With Arthritis
Your vet can sometimes tell which joints are affected by any pain and/or discomfort by examination, including joint flexion and extension. To investigate properly they may suggest further tests to help confirm and locate arthritic change, and sometimes identify any underlying causes too. In some cases, blood samples may be required to rule out any medical conditions associated with arthritis.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Dog Arthritis
Arthritis is a gradual and irreversible condition, and it can be difficult to detect in the early stages. Most often the signs and symptoms of dog arthritis are not obvious until the joint has undergone degenerative damage. As a result, it is important to keep an eye on senior and larger breed dogs for early signs of joint disease. The signs of arthritis in dogs can include:
- Lameness, limping, generalized stiffness, or difficulty getting up from a resting position
- Lethargy or reluctance to participate in activities such as walks or playing
- Reluctance to run, jump, or play
- A gradual loss of muscle mass around the limbs and on the spine
- Changes in mood or behavior, irritability
- Licking of the affected joints
- Obesity or weight gain
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Can Dogs Get Arthritis
Just like humans, dogs can develop arthritis.
Canine arthritis is a degenerative condition that leads to inflammation within the joints, causing chronic pain and joint damage over time.
Arthritis can impact any joint within a dogs body, often worsening as time goes on.
Canine arthritis is most common in senior dogs, but can develop as a result of injury or stress to a joint.
Though arthritis is most common in senior dogs, we know now that age is not the definitive cause of the condition.
Factors ranging from breed to previous injury make a dog more at risk to developing canine arthritis, most of which have nothing to do with age.
Some of the most common causes of arthritis in dogs include:
- Receiving inadequate nutrition
- Having parents that also have arthritis
No matter the cause of your dogs arthritis, the condition can deeply impact their life over time.
With arthritis being a degenerative condition of the joints, this means a dog will require long term care to offer them the comfort they need.
Symptoms Of Arthritis In Dogs
Although your pet may seem fine in themselves, eating normally and interesting in going out for walks there are several symptoms of arthritis in dogs to be aware of. Its important to take note of any changes, even if they dont seem to be linked to having sore legs.
- Limping before and after walks. Your dog may limp if only one leg is affected, but if more than one joint is affected, your dog may not have an obvious limp.
- Tiredness and showing an unwillingness to get up or walk around. Your dog may seem a bit stiff in the morning, or they cant get comfortable when lying down.
- Licking or chewing painful areas
- Signs of pain when standing, walking, or sitting up or down
- Behavioural changes. Your dogs behaviour may change and seem a bit grumpy if being cuddled or touched too much.
- Slowing down. Your dog may seem to have got old suddenly and tired quickly.
If you notice your dog is suffering from any of the above symptoms, visit your nearest vet right away who will be able to provide an expert and informed diagnosis:
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How To Know If Your Dog Has Canine Arthritis
27 April, 2019
When dogs reach old age, they suffer from many ailments similar to those that humans suffer from. One of these is canine arthritis. However, overweight animals can also have arthritis. In this article, youll find out what arthritis is, how it can affect your dog, and how to know if your dog has it.
Treatment Options For Each Stage Of Arthritis
Unfortunately, there is no cure for arthritis in dogs.
While this degenerative condition cannot be cured completely, it can be managed in most canine friends.
The most effective way to offer your dog comfort is by addressing the issue early on, and working to prevent joint damage and inflammation over time.
Though every dog will require an individualized approach to their pain, there are a few standard treatment options available.
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Arthritis In A Dogs Hips
Arthritis of the hips in dogs is a painful condition that can deeply impact their day to day lives.
Arthritis of the hips is often due to underlying joint conditions like hip dysplasia, but can develop as a result of other factors as well.
Arthritis of the hips can make it challenging for a dog to participate in normal activities, as they rely on the ball and socket joint movement that a healthy canine hip offers.
Arthritis in the hips can not only cause pain around the hip joints, but throughout the legs as well.
Arthritis in a dogs hips can lead to:
- Muscle wasting of the back legs
What Is Canine Osteoarthritis
According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, canine osteoarthritis, also called degenerative joint disease, is characterized by the wearing away of joint cartilage , the buildup of fluid within the joint, and the formation of new bone around the joint. All of this results in pain and decreased joint mobility and function.
While the cause of osteoarthritis in dogs isn’t always known, there are several things that might be to blame. These causes could include issues like injury, infection, the animal’s immune system, obesity, poor nutrition, and abnormally formed joints .
Osteoarthritis in dogs is quite common. The American College of Veterinary Surgeons says it affects approximately a quarter of dogs and can occur in dogs of all ages. While any dog can develop arthritis, large dog breeds are more prone to the disease. Arthritis is also progressive, meaning it will get worse with time if not treated.
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How Can I Manage My Dogs Arthritis
A healthy diet, maintaining an optimum weight and the right amount of exercise will also improve symptoms. Discuss with your vet what exercise regime is best for your dog but in general little and often is likely to be better than very long walks. If your pet is limping on the way back, theyve probably overdone it. Rest your pet on days they are lame or stiff.
Providing a soft, comfortable bed will help to take pressure off of your dogs joints when they are resting. Ramps up any stairs they need to climb or to help them into the car will also benefit your dog if they are suffering from arthritis.
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Are Certain Dog Breeds More Susceptible To Developing Arthritis
We would not say a certain type of breed is predisposed to developing arthritis but rather that the disease is typically seen in large breed dogs. Overweight animals proportionately carry more weight on the joints, leading to an increased chance of localised inflammation and irritation to the joints. This is not to say that your Pug doesnât have arthritis, its simply less common in smaller dog breeds so regardless of the breed itâs important to maintain a healthy weight.
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Less Social + Behavior Changes
As the pain levels increase further you might see the final 2 common symptoms of arthritis in dogs. They might reduce their interaction with the family and you might notice a change in general behavior, becoming more grumpy, anxious, withdrawn or even aggressive.
This happens as they try and protect themselves from increasing pain. They are worried that being moved or even just touched or patted is going to hurt and so do whatever it takes to reduce the chance of this happening.
Now you might think that some of these arthritis symptoms in dogs are pretty extreme and you would definitely be able to tell your dog had arthritis before they got to that point. Remember though that arthritis comes on very gradually and so when you are seeing your dog every day it is actually quite easy to miss these things or just accept them as part of normal aging.
If your dog is showing any of these signs then make sure you get them checked over by your vet. They deserve to be pain free in their old age.
If you have any questions or if you noticed any other changes in your arthritic dog then please leave them in the comments below to let everyone know what else they can look out for.
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Is Arthritis Common In Younger Dogs Or Older Dogs
Arthritis is relatively common in older dogs, and like humans, the result of daily wear and tear. The cartilage in between the joints deteriorates over time and the synovial fluid loses its lubricating properties resulting in inflammation and friction between the bones that causes reduced mobility and discomfort.
Itâs not unusual to see symptoms of arthritis in dogs as young as six or seven years of age however its usually due to secondary factors that contribute to the progression of the disease such as ligament damage, poor nutrition, age and overweight dogs and dogs that suffer from immune diseases.
How To Help A Dog With Arthritis At Home
Arthritis is a chronic condition that impacts humans and dogs alike. Fortunately, there are ways to help manage your dogs arthritis symptoms from the comfort of your own home.
Canine arthritis is inflammation of the joints characterized by pain and stiffness caused by bones and joints rubbing together due to damage or loss of cartilage.
Arthritis is one of the most common canine health conditions. All dogs, especially older dogs, are susceptible to arthritis. Additionally, obese dogs and large dog breeds like German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Goldendoodles, and Great Danes may be diagnosed with arthritis more frequently and at younger ages due to the greater weight and pressure on joints.
If the cartilage between the joints continues to deteriorate as a dog ages, arthritis may progress into Degenerative Joint Disease, which is the canine version of osteoarthritis. That is why its critical to pay attention to the early signs of arthritis, so you can begin your at-home arthritis treatment before the condition progresses further.
Diagnosing Arthritis In Dogs
To diagnose arthritis, your veterinarian will perform a physical exam and check the joint areas for pain. Blood tests and X-rays may be ordered to rule out other ailments, such as bone cancer. These diagnostic tests will show how severely the joints have been affected and help guide the treatment plan.
How Can We Prevent Arthritis In The First Place In Dogs
First of all, maintaining an active lifestyle and lean body weight plays a big role in maintaining healthy joints. Following a prescription diet such as Royal Canin means you are guaranteed of providing your pooch with quality ingredients that includes omega three fatty acids, glucosamine, chondroitin and vital supplements that help to improve the quality of the cartilage and reduce painful inflammation.
If you suspect your dog may be showing signs of osteoarthritis, it is important to have your veterinarian conduct a physical examination to assess their range of motion. Your veterinarian may also recommend X-rays of the affected joints, which will help rule out other conditions that can cause similar symptoms such as Cruciate ligament damage or patella luxation. stabilizing the joints and treating susceptible areas early helps to slow the degenerative progression and prevent any further joint damage. In severe cases bone or cartilage particles float in the joint cavity causing significant pain and inflammation. These particles need to be surgically removed and, in some cases, it may become necessary to fuse the joint, an advanced surgical procedure used to salvage the bone.