Just like humans, senior canines undergo stiffness and soreness of joints as they age. However, you need not be sad for being helpless because there is much you can do to retard the attack of arthritis on your beloved pet and manage its symptoms if any. A friendly Ku Ring Gai vet like Gordon Vet Hospital share useful tips for you here.
The word arthritis is a combination of two Greek words, ‘arthro’ meaning joint and ‘itis’ meaning inflammation. Thus arthritis means inflammation of joints. Dogs suffer from arthritis due to many causes, from infections to immune induced diseases.
How does Arthritis Occur?
Arthritis occurs when cartilage cover on the ends of bones starts deteriorating. Eventually, the cartilage deteriorates completely exposing the bone beneath. With the progression of the disease, new bone is formed around the joints and the joint fluid loses its cushioning property. This leads to pain and loss of mobility.
There are a number of causes for the deterioration of cartilage, including:
Congenital diseases of joints like elbow or hip dysplasia
Injury of ligament or joint that makes the joint move abnormally
Age and obesity. Ageing dogs are more susceptible to joint degeneration and if dogs are too weighty, the degeneration process will be accelerated.
Symptoms of Dog Arthritis
It’s important that you notice that your canine family member has developed arthritis; so, you should know its symptoms. The first symptom you can notice is limping. He’ll try to avoid moving the sore joint. The limp is usually worse when he gets up in the morning or when the weather is especially cold.
With the progression of disease, he will be seen enjoying his normal activities less. For example, he won’t chase a ball or jump on the sofa and also he may be reluctant to walk too far. Also muscles on the affected leg may be wasted and it will look thinner than its corresponding leg. Sometimes dogs even bite the affected joint for relief and this may wrongly assumed as a skin problem.
Treatment of Arthritis Pain
Treatment of arthritis consists of two parts: firstly managing pain and secondly bringing the joint in as healthy state as possible. Fortunately there are many treatment options available to help your furry friend.
- For pain relief a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug is prescribed to most dogs. They work well and quickly make the dog more comfortable. For dogs that cannot be given NSAIDs, fentanyl and tramadol are helpful. Never give any medication that your vet hasn’t prescribed to your dog because self-medication can make him very sick.
- Various supplements are supposed to help dogs with arthritis. Among these glucosamine and chondroitin are quite well-known. They are considered to help protect the cartilage and slow down its degeneration. While supplements can’t be by any chance harmful, only a few studies exist to ensure their effectiveness.
- Some substances such as polysulphatedglycosaminoglycans like sodium pentosanpolysulphate are involved in cartilage production. Injections of these substances can be given to your dog by your vet. Many dogs experience high improvement in the symptoms of arthritis with them.Their safety is the highest benefit of this treatment.
- Another effective treatment is that of omega 3 fatty acids like those in fish oil because they may relieve inflammation and reduce pain.
- Other remedies are acupuncture, massage, gentle exercise and physiotherapy that help the dog’s joints move freely and prevent stiffness.
- See if you can change your dog’s surrounding so that his life becomes less difficult. For example, if there are stairs in your home to go upstairs, provide your dog a ramp to help him walk up easily.
In case of a situation that is out of your control, take help of experts such as https://gordonvet.com.au/lindfield-vet/. This can help your dog in getting immediate relief from his painful condition.