Arthritis is a very common condition among dogs, with more than half of dogs over the age of 10 affected. It can affect any joint in your dog’s body, including its knees, hips, elbows and spine. But how do you know if your dog has arthritis? Does it need medication or surgery? And what can you do to help reduce their discomfort? Let me explain:
The type of arthritis is diagnosed by a vet.
Can arthritis in dogs be treated?
Yes! The first step to treating your dog’s arthritis is to have him or her diagnosed by a veterinarian. There are several types of arthritis, each caused by different factors:
- Inflammatory joint disease results from an injury or infection that causes swelling around the joints. It can also be autoimmune (related to immune system problems) and hereditary.
- Osteoarthritis is caused by aging, wear and tear on the joints, obesity, overuse injuries from exercise and poor posture due to muscle weakness. It can also occur after trauma or surgery as well as genetic predisposition for hip dysplasia in puppies born with malformed hips.
Promote healing with everything you do.
- Keep your dog’s weight down.
- Make sure your dog gets enough exercise.
- Make sure your dog gets enough rest.
- Make sure your dog gets enough water.
- Feed a diet low in inflammatory foods
Give your dog’s aching joints some relief.
If your pooch is experiencing stiffness and inflammation, a heating pad or ice pack can be helpful. A heating pad provides warmth and comfort to painful joints, while an ice pack offers a temporary reduction in swelling. You can also try massaging the affected area manually or with a handheld massager. If your dog is particularly uncomfortable, consider using acupressure points on his neck and back to help alleviate pain. Chiropractic and acupuncture are other options for relieving joint discomfort; most vets will be able to recommend an appropriate practitioner in your area if you need extra assistance finding one.
If diet changes aren’t enough to keep arthritis at bay, there are several supplements that may help manage symptoms: glucosamine sulfate (an amino sugar), chondroitin sulfate (a cartilage complex), omega-3 fatty acids (precursors of prostaglandins), vitamin C (an antioxidant) and calcium with magnesium supplements. Be sure that any dietary supplement is safe for dogs before giving it as part of your treatment plan; some products cause gastrointestinal distress when ingested by dogs who don’t typically eat them regularly!
Make sure your dog stays well hydrated.
Dogs need more water than humans do, and their bodies are less efficient at regulating their internal temperature. As such, they are prone to overheating during the summer months and may need access to cool water at all times. You can give your dog some ice cubes or even frozen kong toys to help keep him cool during these warmer months!
The amount of water that each dog needs depends on its size and activity level; generally speaking, a small dog only needs about 1/4 cup per day while larger breeds could drink up to 1/2 cup per pound of body weight. To determine how much your own pup should be drinking in a day, simply multiply his current weight by .25 (for smaller dogs) or .5 (for larger ones), then add that number onto his total daily calorie count (the same number used when calculating how much food he should eat). So if you have an 80-pound Labrador retriever who eats 2 cups of food per day (1 cup equals 250ml) then this calculation would look like: 80 x .25 = 20 + 2 = 22 cups per day; it’s important not just because it helps ensure proper hydration but also because if there were ever any problems with dehydration such as reduced urine output or increased thirstiness then having numbers handy makes diagnosing easier!
Feed your dog from an elevated bowl if it has hip or elbow arthritis, or arthritis in its neck.
Elevated food and water bowls can be helpful for dogs with arthritis. The elevated bowl will help relieve pressure on the joints in your dog’s hip, elbow or neck. Elevated bowls are not suitable for all breeds of dog as some breeds have short muzzles and may find it difficult to eat from them. If you’re in doubt, consult your vet before purchasing an elevated bowl for your dog.
Feed your dog a low-inflammatory diet.
A low-inflammatory diet can be beneficial for dogs with arthritis, especially if they have joint pain or inflammation. As you probably know, inflammation is a natural response to injury. However, in the case of chronic (or persistent) inflammation, it’s the body’s reaction that causes problems rather than helping to heal damage or reduce pain.
In order to avoid foods that make your dog more inflamed, avoid:
- Foods high in salt (sodium)
- Foods high in fat (especially beef and dairy products)
- Foods with added sugar
- Preservatives like BHA/BHT and MSG
- Artificial sweeteners such as saccharin or aspartame * Additives like nitrates and nitrites
Regular exercise can fight arthritis in dogs.
Besides the obvious benefits of exercise, it can help prevent or alleviate arthritic symptoms in dogs. It can reduce pain and inflammation, improve mobility and flexibility, and help with weight control. Regular exercise can also help your dog’s mental health by providing a sense of purpose and socialization opportunities with other dogs or members of their family. Additionally, regular exercise will increase your pet’s overall fitness level and quality of life.
Because arthritis has no cure, these tips may not completely relieve all symptoms in every case but they should at least provide some relief from any pain that is causing your pet discomfort.
Arthritis can often be managed and treated, but since each case is different so what works for one dog may not work for another.
Arthritis is a common cause of lameness in dogs and can be identified by a number of factors, including:
- Standing with the feet pointing outwards. This is known as “toeing out” and it happens when the knee joint becomes arthritic.
- A dog that’s having trouble walking on hard surfaces or rough terrain due to their arthritic joints. The pain may be severe enough for them to stop using the affected limb altogether.
- A lack of appetite or thirst because arthritis can make bones brittle, causing damage to nerves that send signals from the brain to other parts of your body (such as saliva glands or stomach lining). Pain from damaged nerves usually causes discomfort in these systems which leads up to nausea/vomiting and loss appetite over time unless treated properly through medication or holistic remedies like CBD oil capsules for dogs!
In the end, the best thing you can do for your dog is to provide them with the resources they need to be healthy. That means providing a good diet and regular exercise, but also making sure that their joints are in good shape and that there are no other underlying health problems that may affect them down the road. If you’re concerned about your furry friend’s future as an active member of your family, then now’s the time to talk with your veterinarian about treatment options—and don’t forget about all those great tips we’ve given you!