What Can You Do To Help Your Senior Dog With Arthritis Pain

Published: 24th March 2010
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Arthritis is on the list of most commonl illnesses in which older dogs experience. Dogs of any age can get arthritis but unfortunately, it is prevalent in our senior canines. This disease involves the joints, that happen to be at the ends of the bones. There is cartilage that covers the bones which form the joints, and fluid, which lubricate the cartilage.

Once the cartilage becomes worn and deteriorates, the bones that form the joint will no longer glide smoothly past each other. Rather, the bones rub up against each other, with less fluid to lubricate them, the joint then becomes inflamed. This translates into painful arthritis.

Years of wear and tear can result in arthritis. In addition, excess weight, joint abnormalities such as hip dysplasia, old injuries, and infections such as Lyme Disease, might make a dog more susceptible to the condition. Genetics also play a part. Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers and other large breeds are more likely to acquire arthritis then the general canine population.

Symptoms include things like greater trouble getting around. Struggling to get up or down off of furniture or stairs. He or she may be less than eager to go for a walk, or less likely to wish to run or perhaps to climb stairs. He might be especially stiff in the morning but may become a bit more agile later in the day. In the event that just one joint is affected, he is likely to avoid putting weight on the afflicted limb or limbs.

Considering the fact that symptoms of arthritis are similar to those of other diseases and because arthritis can result from other disorders, a veterinary examination is necessary to generate the correct diagnosis. The vet examines the entire canine body which includes the afflicted limbs and may take x-rays of the joints that appear to be affected. The veterinarian could also test the dog for Lyme disease.

A wide variety of treatments are available to relieve the pain of canine arthritis. You can find non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin or Rimadyl and Deramaxx which are used commonly. NSAID's are usually quite effective in combating arthritis pain and inflammation. Nevertheless, they also can have side effects that vary from mild to very severe. Your vet will probably prescribe the lowest possible dosage which will relieve pain for your senior companion. The vet will likely tell you to watch for side effects which include diarrhea, vomiting, increased urination, decrease in appetite and may cause depression. Something quite important to remember is to be sure not to give your dog ibuprofen, that is the active ingredient in Advil and Motrin or acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol. Although these two drugs help alleviate pain in humans with little or no trouble, both may have deadly side effects on canines.

Nutritional supplements that help relieve arthritis symptoms such as pain and stiffness are call nutraceuticals. Medical specialists have found two nutraceuticals, glucosamine and chrondotin sulfate, to be particularly effective against arthritis. They are offered in a few forms, injections, liquid or tablet form. On the list of better known meds produced with these nutraceuticals are Glycoflex, Adequan, and Cosequin.

Dietary modifications may be needed also. Many arthritic dogs are over weight and such excess poundage places extra strain on their already stressed joints. For this reason, a veterinarian probably will suggest that your dog loose weight. Your veterinarian can help you create a diet or perhaps suggest a dog food to help in lowering his weight.

Exercise will benefit a dog with arthritis. A regular walk or two, regular swim sessions, or some other gentle exercises in moderation can help strengthen the muscles and ligaments and to keep him a little more limber. Talk to a veterinarian about establishing an exercise program.

Comfort and ease for your special senior canine companion is important. There are many challenges that your arthritic dog experiences. To reduce the pains and aches as much as possible, provide him with a soft beds, ramps, dog-steps and slip-free flooring. These all aid in cushioning his sore joints and prevent additional injury. A raised food bowl might make eating more comfortable also. However beware, if your dog is prone to bloat, leave the food on the floor.

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