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Signs Of Arthritis In Dogs & How To Help

It’s easy to think that dogs aren’t capable of getting arthritis like us humans, but the reality is, they can experience it all. How do you know your dog is experiencing the pain of arthritis? The moment the easy run becomes a stiff walk or the jump to a favorite chair is accompanied by lying down is with a deep groan, you should consider taking your dog to a vet.

Thanks to today’s advances in veterinary medicine and companion animal care, many dogs are living to a ripe old age. These diseases are easy to treat. Many of these changes may be seen on X-rays or on physical exams, done by your vet. Vet’s rely on a dog’s pain response to joint palpation, detection of crepitus (a crackling or grating sensation felt within the joint), observation of gait and the presence of muscle atrophy to diagnose osteoarthritis. The thing is, not all dogs, even those with significant pain, will vocalize when they’re in pain.

A dog whose muscles are atrophied, and limbs are stiff, who requires assistance to rise, and does little more than teeter outside to go to the bathroom is without question suffering pain even though they might not be vocal about it.

Any dog should be looked at and kept healthy. It’s important to give your dog a high-quality diet throughout their life and maintaining an optimal lean body weight. If your dog is overweight, a healthy weight reduction plan should be instituted immediately.

With problems like arthritis, reaching for a single pharmaceutical relieve, is rarely the most effective approach. To get the best results, you should rather work out a plan with your vet. An integrative, multimodal therapy regime can help maximize your dog’s comfort and well-being.

There are a few things we can do to help our dogs

Around your home: Make sure your dog has a well-padded bed, away from cold or damp drafts. It is also advised to get carpeted or padded steps to get on and off the bed or couch. Make sure that your dog is able to find a way to gently move up and down outside your house.

Body work: To help ease your dog’s pain, you can gently massage its muscles, which stimulate blood flow to atrophying muscles.

Supplements: There are countless joint supplements available to promote healthy cartilage and joint health. Vet’s and dog owners have found that a small number of these supplements can be helpful.

Exercise: Exercise can help a lot. It’s important to maintain mobility through reasonable exercise, regardless of a dog’s age and the extent of her arthritis. A dog with mild, early arthritis should get more exercise than an older dog with severe cartilage erosion. If you are unsure, you can hire a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner (CCRP) to help with designing an appropriate exercise program.

Do not give your dog over-the-counter pain medicines without consulting your vet! There have been dogs who died tragically, because of a variety of seemingly innocuous pills.

Together, let’s strive to support fit, structurally sound dogs. We should keep maintaining them with excellent nutrition and age and breed appropriate exercises. Begin supplemental integrative therapies when they show symptoms of and are diagnosed with degenerative arthritis.