If your dog was diagnosed with arthritis recently, you might be feeling as though life is over or at least going downhill for your dog at best. No, don’t write your pet off to the life of a couch potato. There is so much life yet to be lived, and you can help your dog live it well! Arthritis is painful, yes, but it doesn’t have to keep your dog from enjoying the rest of his life.
What is Arthritis and Why is it so Painful?
Arthritis in older dogs is very common. Osteoarthritis is an ongoing condition, a form of arthritis better known as Degenerative Joint Disease or DJD. And this form of the disease is what is seen most often in older dogs.
When a dog has osteoarthritis, the cartilage which cushions their joints gradually deteriorates. As the cartilage wears thin, inflammation, fluid, and bone spurs develop. Inflammation, fluid, and bone spurs are the reason for the severe pain. For dogs, arthritis affects the hips, knees, elbows, and lower back most often.
Signs and Symptoms of Arthritis Early On
Even though many of us love our dogs as though they are human, they are not. And they cannot express to us that they are hurting in the same ways we express the pain we are in. Therefore, as a result, we may not realize that our older pets are suffering and in need of treatment.
In order to produce the best possible outcome and a better level of comfort for your senior pet, it’s extremely important to diagnose the presence of arthritis early. The sooner it is diagnosed, the better it is for your dog. The goal is to prevent or hinder the deterioration of your beloved furry friend’s joints.
So what signs will your dog show to indicate that he is hurting?
- Difficulty getting up in the morning and after naps
- Not much interest in walks and playing
- Reluctance getting in and out of the car or on and off your couch
- Lameness or limping
If you’re not sure about the presence of chronic joint problems such as osteoarthritis in your dog, read veterinarian Dr. James St. Clair’s book ‘Dogs Don’t Cry.‘ His book helps dog owners assess problems, manage their pain, and provide treatment more effectively.
Signs and Symptoms of Arthritis that is More Advanced
How can you tell if your dog is suffering from arthritis that is more advanced? The following are all are signs of pain and distress in dogs:
- Panting, pacing, and restlessness
- Whining or whimpering
- Loss of appetite
- Swollen joints
- Loss of muscle mass
What Causes Arthritis in Older Dogs?
In a previous blog post, we mentioned that some breeds are predisposed or likely to develop joint problems, like hip dysplasia, for example. But other factors beyond aging can lead to or increase your dog’s risk of developing joint problems such as osteoarthritis.
- Being overweight
- Not exercising
- Suffering injuries
Reduce the Chances of your Dog Developing Painful Arthritis
There are measures you can take to help reduce the chances that your dog will develop painful arthritis as they get older. You can’t eliminate the possibility of the development of the disease, but you can slow down its progression and minimize its severity. Remember, the whole idea is to prevent or hinder the deterioration of your dog’s joints.
Here are a few you can do on a daily and regular basis to protect your dog:
- Improve their diet
- Evaluate your dog’s weight and help them maintain a healthy weight
- Walk your dog regularly
- Avoid letting your dog jump down from high places or pound hard surfaces
- Visit your veterinary doctor right away whenever your dog gets injured
Treating Your Dog’s Painful Arthritis
The first thing most people are directed when their dog is diagnosed with osteoarthritis are anti-inflammatory drugs and pain-killers. Since there are always side effects associated with drugs, we encourage you to consider supplements and therapies instead. And there are lots of other things you can do to help your dog feel better. Choosing the right treatments to slow down the progression of the disease and increase the number of years your dog has to enjoy should be your top priority.
- Supplements (Glucosamine, Chondroitin, MSM, CBD oil, Methylsulfonylmethane)
- Alternative Therapy (Chiropractic, Acupuncture, Massage, Laser)
- Medications (Adequan, Rimadyl, Previcox, Tramadol, Galliprant)
If your dog hasn’t been able to find relief from these other options, drugs may be necessary. Just make sure you are aware of and understand the pros and cons of the drugs prescribed. Know their side-effects and contra-indications. Follow your vet’s dosage recommendations. And monitor your dog carefully.
Be Aware and BEWARE!
Senior dogs seem to experience more side-effects and reactions to medications than younger dogs do.
Just make sure you are aware of and understand the pros and cons of the drugs prescribed. Know their side-effects and contra-indications. Follow your vet’s dosage recommendations as they also need to monitor your dogs over-the-counter (OTC) medications, natural drugs, and supplements so that they are not detrimental to your pet’s health.
The Best Therapy for Your Dog's Painful Arthritis
The Spectra Therapy CANINE Wearable LASERwrap® is the best alternative solution for relieving pain.
- Provides 10 percent more oxygen and protein to the areas affected by painful arthritis
- Delivers healing on a cellular level
- Treats your whole dog
- Aids in digestion
- Treats the affected area and areas above and below the affected area
- Relieves whole-body pain and stiffness
- Promotes self-healing
The results are astounding! You will see marked improvements in as little as two days!
Give your loyal old friend the relief they deserve from painful arthritis.
Please share your thoughts and comments below. If you have any immediate needs or questions, call us at (248) 524-6300 today and let the healing begin!