Arthritis is a painful disease it is the inflammation of joints. This age related disease affects 70% of dogs. Other dogs touched by Arthritis are Sport or working dogs that are extremely active causing more wear and tear on their joints. Trauma to joints is another common factor related to this disease. Some large breeds are especially prone to joint problems (Hip or Elbow Dysplasia).
There are many things we can do to help our pets manage this disease.
The first major control is keeping your dog’s weight regulated. Any extra weight causesstress on the dog’s joints. Arthritis is a joint disease where the spacing and synovial fluid between the joints has deteriorated. This means the joint’s bones can rub against each other causing inflammation and a lot of discomfort for the sufferer. The joints become stiff and painful to move. Dog becomes less mobile and again weight can be gained because of lack of exercise. There are many ways to help your dog cope with arthritis, one way is massage, also Infra -red massage, using heat and light to help relief pain. Hydrotherapy pools are available where your dog can exercise in a warm salt water pool relaxing and help strengthen muscle around inflamed joints with no or low impact on the joint during exercise. Tread milling your dog you then have control of the speed and distance your dog walks. Also if it’s cold outside or slippery terrain you can keep your dog safe and warm. The cold aggravates arthritis so exercising inside in the extremely cold winter days will help.
Manufactures have developed heated dog beds or magnetic beds to help alleviate discomfort. Having lift aids to help your dog with stairs or getting up can also benefit your dog.
Drugs like Non–steroid anti-inflammatories seem to help but unfortunately have some side effects. Glucosamine combined with chrodroitin is also used to help support joint care. There are Dog Foods and treats that are geared to help with mobility. Traumeel is a holistic cream or pill which helps with inflammation.
Build muscle with ¼ teaspoon of coconut oil MCT per 10 pounds in your dog’s food. Also helps breakdown lipomas.
A new treatment that seems to be very affective is cold laser therapy. It helps heal cells increases blood flow. People are swearing by this newer method for managing arthritis.
So the best approach for helping your dog deal with Arthritis is weight control, exercise management, medications, and a warm, draft free bed.