Has your aging canine friend started losing his ability to walk and finding it tough to jump into your sofa, go up and down the stairs, or maybe have a slower stance than usual? If so, chances are good he might have arthritis.
This disease is generally a result of very active youth, or it might be a concomitant of diabetes or obesity. Arthritis is degenerative, affecting the legs, hip, and back muscles, making everyday movement quite painful.
A visit to the vet with some radiographic and blood tests will confirm the diagnosis. Your vet will help you chart up the best methods of treatment (from the several options available) for your dog to ensure he has a possibly painless life.
While it may be difficult and heartbreaking to see your companion suffer from pain. Here are six ways to take care of your canine friend and help your dog cope with arthritis.
Consulting your vet
Suppose you see your dog having reluctance or difficulty standing from a recumbent position, having a narrower stance than usual, finding it hard jumping onto the couch or going upstairs, or having wastage of muscles of the rear limbs. In that case, you can suspect that he has arthritis.
Visit your vet, or search for the best mobile vet near me. He will ask questions about your canine’s physical condition and some tests.
If your dog has arthritis, then your vet will devise a personalized management plan based on his age, metabolic functions, and the stage of the disease. Arthritis is usually treated with the following:
Anti-inflammatory medication reduces inflammation of the joints and eases pain. Please avoid giving them over-the-counter human NSAID drugs like Ibuprofen or Naproxen because they can cause more harm than good. Give only the prescribed medication of the vet.
Chondroprotective agents like Cartrophen repair cartilage and enable mobility.
Dietary supplements and foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids and natural antioxidants are immensely beneficial. Foods or supplements containing glucosamine and chondroitin sulfates can help. Some studies show they are effective in producing cartilage.
Controlling their weight
Studies have shown that overweight canines are more likely to develop arthritis in later life due to constant pressure on the weight-bearing joints making them more susceptible to wear and tear.
You need to keep a check on their diet so that they can maintain a healthy weight. Taking them out to slow walks might help reduce their weight and lessen the burden on their arthritic joints.
Giving them regular massages and exercise
can help alleviate the pain, improve joint circulation, and increase mobility and flexibility. You can also schedule an appointment with a professional pet massage therapist to pamper your buddy.
Daily exercises help strengthen their muscles and ligaments and prevent the risk of injuries.
Many dog parents find hydro therapy helpful for their senior pets.
Alternative therapy like acupuncture and targeted pulsed electromagnetic field therapy can also be tried to help with their pain.
Providing a comfortable bed
Rest is crucial for your tired pets. Good sleep can soothe their pain and make them feel refreshed.
To ensure they get a good nap, you can fetch a proper orthopedic bed with memory foam where they can rest their joints.
This supportive bed is especially essential for thin dogs whose bones might otherwise rub uncomfortably on rough surfaces. These beds are conveniently available at many pet shops.
Installing ramps and slip-free flooring
Putting up ramps on staircases and carpets will ensure that your pet doesn’t slip and can walk smoothly even up the stairs.
It will keep them steady on their feet, help them navigate through difficult or slippery surfaces, and prevent injury to their already fragile joints.
Making time for grooming
As the senior dogs can’t clean themselves properly, especially in hard-to-reach areas, they need your assistance to keep them spic and span.
Regularly brushing their coats and giving them warm baths can also keep them clean and free from infections.
Final thoughts on canine arthritis care
Ensure your beloved pup’s golden years are as comfortable and pain-free as possible.
Regular veterinary checkups, a cozy bed, massage therapy, regular exercise, a safe home environment, and good hygiene are all key elements that can help ease the discomfort of canine arthritis.