One in every five dogs suffers arthritis in the United States. Arthritis has been a prevalent health condition for long. From humans to dogs, this chronic condition has claimed lives and left many hopeless. In dogs, the disease happens as a result of accidents, diabetes, or obesity. In rare cases, dogs may also develop arthritis as they age.
Though devastating, the good news is that you can readily treat the condition. You can also try some tactics to minimize the pain that the dog goes through. Go through our practical tips to see how you can help your ailing furry friend!
Manage the dog’s weight
As mentioned above, obesity is one of the leading causes of arthritis in dogs. When the weight increases, the joints suffer wear and tear for supporting the increasing weight of the dog. Too much wear and tear causes inflammation of the joints.
The inflammation can be accompanied by joint dislocation if the pressure is too much for the dog. So if your dog is overweight, the initial treatment step would be to manage its weight. Here are practical tips on how to manage the weight:
- Determine what the dogs feed on and change the diet gradually
- Let the dog exercise. You can allow it to play with other pets, or take it for a daily walk in the estate. Thirty minutes daily walk is enough
- Reduce the regular feeding amount by 25%
- Reduce the feeding portions, and consider the easy to digest diets
- Consult a veterinary on the best menu to manage the dog’s weight
Try physical therapy
Physical therapy is a great treatment option for dogs suffering from arthritis. Besides exercise, you can manage the condition by massaging the dog. Massage enhances the flow of blood in the affected knee or joint, thus, reduces the inflammation. You can learn how to massage the pet on your own or hire an experienced physical therapist. Alternatively, you may consider using the knee braces.
A knee brace is a supportive wrap for protecting the joints and reducing further inflammation. As seen in this helpful guide, there are many types of knee braces for dogs. Review the available options, understand their pros and cons, and choose the best for your dog. The ideal wrap will facilitate the recovery of your dog after an accident, and help to manage the arthritis condition. In addition to the joint braces, you may invest in a soft bed for the dog. The soft bed will help the dog rest well, supporting the bones and joints. Consult a professional regarding the best orthopedic bed for your type of dog.
The last option for the dog is to take it to a veterinary officer. The expert will examine the dog keenly, inspect its physical health, and recommend the best treatment option. There are multiple treatment options, and the right choice depends on the severity of the signs, the age, and the underlying health conditions. Here are the main treatments options that the veterinary may recommend for your dog.
The common arthritis drugs are known as Pentosan polysulfate. Vet officers administer them in the form of injections. The injections should be given three times per week and repeated every six to twelve months. The injections prevent the inflammation and repair the worn-out cartilage.
Many prescription diets and supplements can treat arthritis in dogs. The dietary supplements contain fish oils, glucosamine, and other helpful substances which strengthen the joints. The dog may use the supplement for a specified period or lifelong period according to the severity of the condition.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication
The primary purpose of these medications is to reduce inflammation. They are given to dogs with severe arthritis, meaning that they can hardly walk due to the condition. When used in the right medication, non-steroidal medications may manage the arthritis condition.
Surgery is the last treatment option for persistent arthritis in dogs. Dog surgery experts consider this option when the other treatment methods have failed, and the dog’s health is deteriorating. Surgery may also be ideal for dogs who suffer osteoarthritis because of an accident, and the other treatment methods seem impossible for the injury. Surgery might be costly, but it is beneficial.
Do not neglect any sign, which could imply that your dog is suffering from arthritis. The apparent signs might include limping, walking reluctance, and visibly affected joints. If you notice the symptoms, engage the dog in practical exercise and regular massage therapies too. If the problem persists, consult a dog health specialist to examine it. The vet will apply any of the above techniques depending on its condition.