If You Notice These Symptoms Take Your Dog To The Vet
If you notice any of these symptoms in your pet, take them to a veterinarian for an official diagnosis. They will perform diagnostic tests and check your dog’s medical history for prior injuries or inherited conditions. It may be something more serious than arthritis, or it might be a temporary muscle ache that will heal in time.
Once you have an official diagnosis, your vet will help you create a plan to care for your dog. Pain medications can help ease discomfort, and a healthy diet and exercise plan can slow or even prevent the progression of the disease.
Swimming is both fun and theraputic for arthritic dogs.
How To Help A Dog With Arthritis: Pain Relief For Hips & Hind Legs
One of the most common chronic medical conditions people face is arthritis however, it is important for everyone to note that arthritis is a problem that impacts pets as well as people. Dogs are members of peoples families and it can be heartbreaking to see a dog living in pain. Sadly, this is exactly the situation that arthritis creates.
Signs Of Arthritis In Dogs
“Dogs don’t show their pain the way we expect them to,” Login explains. “They don’t always cry out or yelp like a lot of people think they will.” She says the signs tend to be more subtle and behavioral.
According to Login, the behavioral signs of osteoarthritis in dogs to watch for include:
- Increased irritability
These changes in behavior can be easy to dismiss as normal aging or to even miss altogether. And because your veterinarian can’t see how your dog behaves in his natural habitat, your observations from home are a crucial part of getting to a diagnosis. Luckily, we pet parents have some tools available to us that can help.
Recommended Reading: How To Help Rheumatoid Arthritis In Hands
Pet Arthritis Surgical Options
If medical management fails to reduce pain and improve function, there are many surgical options for hip dysplasiaarthritis in dogs hip joints. The most common is femoral head ostectomy, where the head of the thighbone is removed to resolve the pain of the thighbone grinding against the hip socket. Triple pelvic osteotomy is a corrective surgical procedure that reorients the hip socket to realign it with the head of the thighbone, thus stabilizing the joint. If all else fails, total hip replacement with a prosthetic device can be performed. For DJD involving the knee or elbow, total knee and elbow replacement may be available in the not too distant future.
Finally, although controlled clinical studies are lacking, there are many anecdotal reports on the use of acupuncture in treating musculoskeletal disorders in dogs. Pain from hip dysplasia and accompanying DJD is a common reason for acupuncture referrals.
If You Want To Help Your Dog With Arthritis First Call Your Vet
Going to the vet is extremely important, especially for older dogs. I would argue that other than you, your veterinarian is your dogs biggest ally.
As a veterinarian, I believe its my job to listen carefully to what dog parents are saying and read between the lines to pick up on changes that they may not realize are significant. A thorough nose-to-tail examination and some diagnostic tests complete the picture. Then we can work together to tackle whatever challenges your dog is facing.
If your veterinarian diagnoses your dog with arthritis based on a physical examination and your observations, dont despair. There are countless ways to help a dog with arthritis at home!
Options like pain medications, joint supplements for dogs, physical therapy, laser therapy for dogs, and acupuncture can all help relieve arthritis pain in dogs. There isnt a particular treatment that is superior to the others. In fact, the best results often come from a multimodal approachusing several of these options together. Much like people, each dog responds differently, so finding the right combination for your dog can take a bit of trial and error but pay huge dividends in quality of life.
Recommended Reading: Does Arthritis Cause Muscle Weakness
What Ingredients To Avoid
When shopping for dog supplements with a healthy skin and coat in mind, avoid:
- Manufactured Formulation Omega 3Hydrolyzation is a process by which the amino acids in collagen are broken down by heatedwater so theyâre easier for your body to absord. This method is also the safest and avoidsthe use of harsh chemicals.
- Cod Liver OilSome vets do not recommend cod liver oil as a source of omega-3 for dogs because it may leadto doses of Vitamins A and D which are too high.
- Flaxseed Oil or ByproductsThese will contain high amounts of alpha linolenic acid which can be difficult for dogs toconvert to the required form.Hydrolyzation is a process by which the amino acids in collagen are broken down by heatedwater so theyâre easier for your body to absord. This method is also the safest and avoidsthe use of harsh chemicals.
What Is Spinal Arthritis
As the dogs age, the cartilage present in their joints becomes thin and the cartilage cells die. While the cartilage cells die, they produce enzymes that cause inflammation of the joint and excess release of the joint fluid. Over a period of time, the cartilage becomes thinner and causes the bone beneath it to deteriorate.
Also Check: Does Australian Dream Arthritis Cream Work
Go For Arthritis Relief Walks
A sedentary lifestyle is not good for dogs with arthritis . Its important that your arthritic dog gets a beneficial walk every day. A beneficial walk for arthritis is one that doesnt allow sniffing at every tree or post.
An arthritis relief walk starts slow for 5 minutes, and then you increase to a manageable pace for 10 full minutes, then a slower, cool down pace for the final 5 minutes.
Try to keep your arthritic dog moving non-stop for 20 minutes per day before allowing her discovery time. Or, even better would be 2 walks, each 20 minutes per day.
Dogs Back Legs Collapsing And Incontinent
Its pretty alarming to watch your dogs back legs giving out more and more as time passes. Dogs often reach the point that theyre passing stool and urine in the house. Many clients report their dog is very upset by it, too.
Before you panic, first, figure out if he just cant get outside fast enough to potty there. If thats the case, more pain meds or better pain treatments. Make sure you help him get outside frequently throughout the day even if he doesnt act like he needs to go.
If urine and/or stool are dribbling out while your dog is walking, and he seems unaware of it, thats more likely true incontinence.
In either case, you can try using diapers with a hole cut for his tail, or purchase special diapers made for dogs. You need to change these frequently because just like babies, dogs will get dermatitis from having a soiled diaper on for too long.
Read Also: What To Do For Rheumatoid Arthritis
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.
When To Contact Your Vet
Symptoms of arthritis often develop slowly which means it can be difficult to know when to seek help. Get in touch with your vet if you notice any of the symptoms listed above.
Older dogs benefit from regular check-ups so your vet can pick up any early signs of arthritis.
You know your dog best. If you are still concerned, contact your vet.
Read Also: Does Weather Affect Rheumatoid Arthritis
Stair Treads Help Arthritic Dogs
If your arthritic dog has to use stairs have a look at the stair treads.
For indoor staircases, steps that are all wood or linoleum are prime candidates for temporary step treads. The styles that work best for dog paws are the rubber backed treads with double tape or the self stick gritty tape kind .
For outdoor steps, most steps are fine until they are wet or snowy, then they are downright dangerous. I know my own deck steps get really slippery after it rains and thats why I have the sticky, gritty roll tape on my outdoor deck steps and on my front porch I tacked down the outdoor carpet stair treads.
TIP: Stair treads that dont work well for dog paws are the decorative open pattern rubber style. This style easily traps a dogs toe or paw and should be avoided . The other style that doesnt work well for dogs is any style that is slippery or that does not get securely fastened.
Give Your Dog A Daily Massage
Massage therapy is great for arthritis and some pet boutiques charge big money for a dog massage. You can do this for free! Use long gentle strokes and always push blood toward your dogs heart. Massage gets blood flowing to the arthritic area and can reduce pain and stiffness for several hours.
You can actually do this massage in combination with the next suggestion which is heat therapy.
Don’t Miss: Where Can I Buy Arthritis Gloves
Relieving Arthritis Pain In Dogs: Why A Multimodal Approach Is Critical For Your Arthritic Dog
I like to explain multi-modal as taking a 1 + 1 + 1 equals 5 approach. In other words, by using a combination of therapies for canine arthritis, you can supercharge the outcome through a collective effect. Its harnessing the power of synergism.
In our culture, the knee-jerk reaction for treating a painful condition such as arthritisalso known as osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease is taking medication to alleviate discomfort. And while medication is absolutely an important part of relieving arthritis pain in dogs, there are so many more options that can help dogs feel and move better.
Since arthritis in dogs is not a curable condition, a flexible approach that incorporates medications, supplements, exercise, diet and weight management, and alternative medicine is optimal. Ultimately, the goal is excellent quality of life and good mobility with minimal pain for your dog.
As promised in Part I of our series on signs of arthritis in dogs, Im following up with the heart of the messagehow to relieve arthritis pain in dogs. Id recommend grabbing a cup of coffee and propping up your feet for this thorough overview.
Arthritis In Dogs: A Guide To Labrador Arthritis And Arthritis In Other Breeds
Arthritis in dogs is an inflammation of the tissues in their joints. Here, canine expert Pippa Mattinson explains what causes it, and how to reduce the risk of it becoming a problem for your pet. Theres also a list of symptoms to look out for, and a guide to how veterinarians diagnose and treat dogs who do become arthritic.
To help you navigate all that information, weve divided it into five sections:
So whatever stage of the prevention, diagnosis, or treatment pathway your dog is on, were ready to support you to give them them best possible care.
Also Check: How To Help Arthritis In Your Neck
Dog Arthritis Natural Remedies
Once you have a diagnosis, your veterinarian can help you develop a dog arthritis treatment plan. Arthritis in dogs is not a curable condition, but there are many treatments and therapies available to effectively control and manage your pets pain and discomfort.
Let the label and your veterinarian be your guide as you help your arthritic canine companion return to a less painful and more active lifestyle.
There is no reason to allow your pet to suffer with untreated pain, Dr. Morgan says. For many pets, this may require a multi-modal approach, meaning you may need to keep adding therapies until you achieve the desired effect.”
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.
Read Also: What Medication Is Used To Treat Arthritis
Exercise And Mobility Aids
Arthritic dogs benefit greatly from controlled exercise. Considering the joints are compromised it is advisable to practice several but shorter walks. Exercise is important because of several reasons, including:
- It strengthens the legs and muscles
- Promotes healthy body weight
- Supports joint function and pain-free movement.
If you are not sure which exercise regimen is best for your senior dog with arthritis, you could ask the veterinarian for advice.
To relieve the joint stress and encourage proper movement, your trusted DVM may recommend using mobility aids like back braces or wheelchairs for pets.
In general your dog will not have to wear the aid tool at all times, only while walking outside or when expecting more challenging physical activity.
Arthritis In Dogs 7 Common Signs Symptoms & Treatment Options
Every dog parent should have canine arthritis on their radar.
Joint disease is one of the most common medical complications seen in senior furry friends, with osteoarthritis being one of the leading causes of joint pain.
While arthritis may not be life threatening in itself, it can deeply impact a dogs quality of life as they age.
So what is canine arthritis, and how can you best support your dog with this condition?
You May Like: Is Watermelon Good For Rheumatoid Arthritis
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.
Innovet created a product line of full spectrum pure hemp oils void of dangerous compounds. Their USDA certified organic oil is formulated especially for animals and is also third-party tested to ensure consistency and purity. Innovet offers more than 50 affordable products to help pets manage anxiety, pain, as well as other conditions. Get more information about Innovets CBD products. Their latest formulation, Advanced Mobility Support for Hip and Joints, combines the power of glucosamine with organic hemp extract to help pets with arthritis feel their best.
How Does Arthritis Impact A Dogs Quality Of Life
Arthritis has the ability to impact a dogs comfort and happiness each day.
Arthritis may not be considered life threatening in itself, but the pain and mobility issues that come along with the condition can be.
The impact of canine arthritis leads many owners to make a quality of life decision, showing just how important it is to manage this condition early on.
The joint deterioration that occurs in canine arthritis is challenging to get ahead of when it is not diagnosed early on, leading to a vicious cycle of discomfort for our aging canine friends.
Dogs with joint disease may shy away from activities they once loved, find difficulty getting up each morning, and even struggle to find the happy demeanor they once sported.
Having an understanding of this degenerative joint condition is essential for offering your pup a long and happy life.
If you would like an in depth review on the many aspects of canine arthritis, you can head over to bigbarker.com for their arthritis awareness week.
Read Also: How To Get Rid Of Hip Arthritis