Early Signs Of Arthritis In Dogs
Canine arthritis is a common condition among our furry best friends. In data collected from Healthcanal, almost twenty percent of dogs will be affected in their lifetime, and the problem isnt only applicable to older dogs.
Certain breeds of dogs, those with short legs, such as Corgi, and those with large sizes, like Great Dane, can also contribute to the factors that can develop arthritis. Aside from this, frequent injuries, like fractures or ruptured ligaments, can increase the chances of damaging your dogs joints.
Meanwhile, genetics also play a vital role in the likelihood of becoming arthritic dogs because of the body structure. As pet owners, you want to manage your dogs pain, so youre looking for natural pain relief for dogs to decrease pain in inflamed joints.
But before we go into that, here are the early signs and symptoms that your dogs develop arthritis:
- Trouble getting up or laying down
- Pain of the affected joints
If your dog manifests any of these signs, bring your dog to the nearest vet to get pain medications or consult a holistic veterinarian to use alternative veterinary medicine and natural treatments to manage dog arthritis.
You can do these natural remedies to reduce pain in the dogs joints at home.
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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.
Ways To Help A Senior Dog With Arthritis At Home
Dr. Julie Buzby
If your dogs muzzle is getting grey and arthritis pain is threatening to steal the joy from those golden years, you want to ensure your home is safe and comfortable for your older dog with mobility challenges. Integrative veterinarian Dr. Julie Buzby draws from her many years of loving and caring for senior dogs to share these eight practical ways to help your dog with arthritis at home.
If youre like me, and your dog has been celebrating a tenth birthday for the past three years, it may be easy to forget your dog is a senior. Most dogs are great at concealing their age. But as they develop arthritis and their mobility changes, it may become more apparent that the years are taking a toll.
They Are Soiling The House
If your dog is having mobility issues as a result of chronic joint pain, it can be difficult for them to reach the toilet. House soiling can occur and is something to look out for in conjunction with other signs.
If you think they might be suffering from arthritis, get them checked out at the vet for a proper diagnosis.
Can Canine Oa Be Prevented
Allowing a dog to grow slowly as a puppy, and maintaining a lean body condition throughout growth and into adulthood, is the mostimportant way to prevent OA. Growth abnormalities and injuries cannot always be predicted, so even our best efforts may not be enough to ward off OA in an older dog. That said, with slow growth, good nutrition, optimal body condition, and regular exercise, the odds of preventing or at least delaying OA are excellent. Your veterinarian will partner with you to create the best plan for your dog.
|Contributors: Robin Downing, DVM, DAAPM, DACVSMR, CVPP, CRPP|
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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.
Medication Options For Treating Arthritis In Dogs
Many vets will prescribe medication to keep dogs with arthritis as comfortable as possible.
Most arthritis medications work by decreasing inflammation and/or pain, explains Jennifer Coates, DVM, a small animal veterinarian in Colorado who serves on the advisory board for Pet Life Today. Some arthritis supplements have a similar, albeit often less powerful action, but may also improve joints by promoting cartilage health and the production of protective joint fluid.
NSAIDs for dogs
These anti-inflammatory medications are similar to the ibuprofen or aspirin you would find at the local drug store. But, they are formulated specifically for your pooch. Just dont share from your medicine cabinet. Over-the-counter Advil or Aleve are toxic to dogs and should never be given. Doggy NSAID options include:
When a vet prescribes one of these medications, you can pick them up at the pharmacy where you get your own prescriptions filled, and use your SingleCare card to save.
Your veterinarian will explain the dosage of each medication that is appropriate for your dog. It depends on the medication and the size of your dog.
If you have arthritis, too, dont just share your prescription with your pet. Dr. Coates cautions human arthritis medications can be very dangerous for dogs and can lead to serious side effects when given at the wrong dose, in conjunction with other medications, or to a dog with other health problems.
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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.
Keep Your Dogs Nails Trimmed
Nails naturally wear down through friction with the ground as your dog moves around. However, if your dog is suffering from arthritis, it begins to move around less than usual, and because of this, its nails will not wear down as quickly as they used to be. If they become overgrown, they can make your dogs feet stand at an unnatural angle, and this can give them excruciating pain. This is why you have to trim your arthritic dogs nails constantly.
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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.
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.
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How Is Arthritis In Dogs Diagnosed
There is no specific test that tells us that your dog has arthritis. Often the diagnosis is made following a detailed discussion and physical examination by your veterinary surgeon, who can tell if there is any pain or stiffness in your dogs joint.
X-rays can show whether the arthritis is advanced, but the early stages dont show up on an x-ray, however even if it cant be seen it should still be treated, helping to reduce the damage in the long term.
If there is something else wrong with your dog, this will need to be treated as well as the arthritic change in the joint for the best prognosis.
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.
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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.
How Can You Tell If Your Dog Has Arthritis
Common signs of canine osteoarthritis include stiffness after rest, difficulty getting up, limping or avoiding the use of one leg. Arthritic dogs may also be less active, or reluctant to use stairs or get in or out of a vehicle. For pets with arthritis, just going for a walk or playing in the yard can result in joint pain and muscle soreness.
As in people, arthritis is a degenerative process defined as inflammation of a joint. It can occur in both young and old dogs, though it is more common as dogs age. Sometimes, as in Otis case, arthritis develops following an injury. It can impact all components of the joint, but the cartilage the connective tissue covering the bones where a joint is formed is the most affected.
Unfortunately, canine arthritis cannot be cured. Instead, the goal of treatment of arthritis in dogs is to reduce inflammation and increase comfort to improve a dogs quality of life regardless of age.
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Our Solution: Glyde Mobility Chews Hip & Joint Supplement For Dogs
We decided to start with a dietary supplement of Glyde Mobility Chews to help relieve the symptoms of arthritis. Unfortunately, there is no reversing the disease. But the good news is that just as it is in humans, arthritis signs can be treated.
I learned that Glyde Mobility Chews had a special formula with natural ingredients which would promote joint health and normal cartilage development.
I never knew joint health was something to be concerned about.
Well, it certainly is! Also important is the fact that Glyde has proven levels of glucosamine and chondroitin and that help maintain normal joint function. Glydesformula also contains New Zealand Green Lipped Mussel, the only natural source of ETA, a potent Omega-3 fatty acid, that helps relieve joint stiffness and while maintaining youthful mobility.
I now gave Glyde to my beloved beagle daily. It was funny how quickly I felt she reacted to it. Within a week, I already saw the difference. She was bringing me her toy to throw and she seemed happier. I felt that it was really working. We were starting to return to our regular schedule of morning runs. Mostly because I knew I needed to keep her active, just as I needed to keep active too. After some time on Glyde, and regular exercise, my adorable beagle was back to her old self.
I was a bit offended. No, we arenât leaving her.
Now, we get Glyde delivered to our house on a regular basis.
Thanks to Glyde Mobility Chewsfor bringing the puppy out of her again!
The Best Natural Remedies For Dog Arthritis
As humans age, they may experience bouts of arthritis. Just like humans, your dog will age and can start showing symptoms of joint pain, as well.
If you notice that your dog is starting to show symptoms of arthritis, you may feel frustrated and upset. You dont want to spend a ton of money to treat their pain. And you also dont want to subject them to a life full of medications.
Thankfully, there are natural remedies for dog arthritis. Read on if youre interested in learning how to safely treat your furry best friend.
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A Supplement A Day Keeps The Joint Pain Away
Before we start discussing joint supplements for dogs, we need to briefly review some relevant joint anatomy. When bones come together to form a joint, the ends are covered with a layer of cartilage. This cartilage acts as a shock absorber and helps the bones glide smoothly against each other when the joint moves.
As your dog ages or joint mechanics change due to an injury, the cartilage becomes worn. Over time this degenerative process will lead to arthritis. Now bone is rubbing on bone, the once cushy cartilage has become thin, causing the joint to become inflamed and painful.
What is the best joint supplement for dogs?
A variety of compounds have proven useful for addressing arthritic changes from different angles:
- Glucosamine and chondroitinsulfate Glycosaminoglycans are the building blocks of healthy cartilage, making them one of the most popular joint supplement ingredients.
- Methylsulfonylmethane This compound helps form new cartilage and can reduce pain and inflammation.
- Turmeric/curcumin More commonly used as a human supplement, turmeric/curcumin shows promise in reducing pain and inflammation in dogs with arthritis.
- Hyaluronic acid This type of GAG is a major component of joint fluid and helps make cartilage more resistant to wear and tear.
- Omega-3 fatty acids Anti-inflammatory properties are one of the benefits of Omega-3s for dogs that make them useful for managing arthritis pain.
My favorite joint supplement for dogs with arthritis
Treating Arthritis In Dogs
As your veterinarian will explain, there are a variety of different options to treat arthritis in dogs. Your plan may include a combination of management solutions and ultimately will depend on your dog and his specific situation. That being said, these are some of the most common ways to manage arthritis pain in dogs.
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Rehab Or Physical Therapy
Canine rehabilitation and physical therapy specialists work with dogs that are arthritic or out of condition to improve limb function, rebuild muscle and assist in weight management. Specific exercises for arthritic pets, such as little jumps known as cavalettis, may be tailored to enhance limb movement while providing comfort. Helping an arthritic dogs ability to move around better will allow it to exercise more and improve its muscle tone while assisting in weight loss.
Protect Your Pet With Dog Insurance From Purely Pets
If youre looking for dog insurance that you can trust, Purely Pets can help you. From our wide range of Lifetime cover available, all of your dog insurance documents are available online so youre able to manage your policy flexibly, whenever it suits you best.
Additionally, our free 24-hour vet helpline operates 365 days a year, giving you instant access to RCVS registered nurses who have at least three years of practical experience.
Theres also no upper age limit at Purely Pets, so if you are thinking of finding pet insurance for your older dog, there are many options available.
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Dogs At Risk For Arthritis
Any dog can develop arthritis, but it is more common in older dogs and large breeds, such as German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Doberman Pinschers, and Great Danes. It can also occur more often in breeds with hereditary conditions linked to arthritis. For instance, Chihuahuas and Yorkshire Terriers tend to have luxating patella, and Bulldogs, Mastiffs, Saint Bernards, and Labrador Retrievers are prone to hip dysplasia.