What is the cause of arthritis in dogs? It is a common occurrence in dogs and about one fifth of canines will be affected with this malaise and it is not necessary that you will find this problem in only the older dogs. The fact is dogs are bread to have some qualities like the short legs on a Corgi or the size of a Great Dane. Depending on the breed of your dog, it may be prone to arthritis and age is certainly a factor.
When a dog has a problem with joints like a fracture or dislocation this could result in damage to the cartilage leading to arthritis. Plus canines that inherit conditions like hip dyspepsia need to be watched for symptoms of arthritis. What is more being overweight also can lead to such problems like arthritis.
The signs to watch out for in dogs to identify arthritis:
1. Limping .
2. Leaning towards a side.
3. Walking a bit on the stiff side.
4. Having trouble getting up and lying down.
5. Some positions may look painful.
6. The touch of some parts leading to pain.
When you see any of these signs in your dog, then you need to take your dog to the vet. Once you know what the problem is then you can plan out the care of your dog. You will need to provide for pain management as well as diet and exercise conditioning.
What can be done to keep arthritis away? While you cannot prevent canine arthritis you can work on reducing the impact of it and slow the progress of the disease. You need to feed the dog a healthy diet right from the stage of it being a puppy. Talk to the vet about what to do.
Home Remedies For Arthritis In Dogs
Ensure that your dog gets good exercise: The owners of the pet should take it on a small walk daily and indulge in a more vigorous workout. Not providing regular physical activity can make the dog tired when it is suddenly made to do such things. Swimming is a good activity as it is low impact on the joints and high impact in terms of exercise.
Have the use of ramps: Since dogs have legs that are shorter than us humans, climbing things could be a difficulty, you should have a ramp put in to ease things for the dog. Also discourage your dog from jumping on harder surfaces to protect the joints.
Some natural ways to treat arthritis in dogs: Since there is no cure as such for arthritis once it affects the dog, you can only manage to keep things comfortable for your pooch.
Get a good mattress: Ensure that your dog has a soft bed for it to sleep on so that the joints are protected. You also need to ensure that the cold does not seep through the bed as the dog will find that cold does increase the pain of arthritis.
Ensure that your dog has some exercise: This means that you need to take your dog for many small walks instead of one long one. Ensure that the exercise that the afflicted dog gets is gentler and not too stressful.
Massage the dog daily: One of the things that you can do to ease the pain of your dog is to massage them when they just get up and also before they go to sleep at night.
Keep control on the dog’s weight: The more weight that the dog’s joints have to carry, the worse the pain is going to get. So keep control on what your dog eats and keep it active.
Ensure that water is available: Do keep water at places and levels that makes it easy for the dog to access and drink without straining itself.
Omega 3: Make sure that the dog has food that is replete with Omega 3 fatty acids as this works to keep inflammation of joints down. Seek out dog foods that have flax seed, mackerel, tuna etc. Add supplements to the food if required.
Pay attention to the grooming: Keeping the dog’s nails trimmed will also help in better balance and thereby keep the pain down.
Use of heat: Using heat on the affected area decreases pain, keeps the circulation going and the muscles stimulated. Use of heating pads is a good idea but only after checking whether it is safe for the dog.
Some treatments for arthritis in dogs: You will find that there are medications that will work on the pain and these can be used alongside other natural techniques for managing the pain.
Some drugs that are used are:
NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs): These are given in smaller doses to dogs than they are for humans but are essentially the same. But you do have some side effects like kidney, tummy, and intestine damage, affect the clotting and also suppress appetite.
Tramadol: This is equal to human morphine affecting the brain in a way that if feels less pain. This can lead to tummy trouble and overdoses can be damaging.
Narcotics: Used only for extreme cases they are not given without proper supervision and is normally used as a last resort.
Corticosteroids: These work at reducing the swelling and are anti-inflammatory to bring down the pain.