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Arthritis In Dogs: What You Can Really Do To Help Your Pet

June 04, 2019

Arthritis In Dogs: What You Can Really Do To Help Your Pet

What Pet Owners Need To Know About Helping Dogs With Arthritis

Canine Arthritis is a common ailment as dogs age. 

It is similar to human arthritis. Calcification and inflammation cause joint pain and reduced activity, particularly in older dogs. 

Some forms of arthritis like Canine Hip Dysplasia can develop early in life due to genetics and diet. Fortunately, arthritis in dogs can be treated.

Treatments for canine arthritis range from natural supplements using chondroitin and glucosamine, to veterinary prescribed drugs.

Some studies have shown that supplements can be effective in fighting the effects of arthritis in dogs naturally. 

One study, in particular, found a significant reduction in pain and an increase in weight-bearing ability in dogs who were given a daily dose of a glucosamine and chondroitin supplement for a period of several months.

However, research also suggests that these effects can be lost if treatment is discontinued. That means that it’s important to keep consistently giving your dog their natural supplement in order for them to experience lasting results.

Before you even consider your dog’s treatment options, it’s important to look closely for any signs of arthritis in the first place.


Signs of Arthritis in Dogs

If your dog is suffering from arthritis or other joint issues, you may notice several signs. Take a look at this list of common dog arthritis symptoms.

  1. Limping and generally reduced activity.
  2. Favoring one or both of the front or back limbs.
  3. Morning activity or cold weather makes the dog less active.
  4. Difficulty rising from a resting position, especially in the morning.
  5. Pain to the touch.
  6. Reluctance to jump.

If you suspect your dog has arthritis, you should know the different forms or types of arthritis. The most common disorders are listed below.

Types of Dog Arthritis

Take a look at this quick guide to the various kinds of arthritis and joint problems that dogs can suffer from. 

1. Osteoarthritis 

Also known as canine arthritis or dog arthritis, it is the most common type of arthritis in dogs and the most easily treated. It usually develops slowly as the dog ages.

2. Rheumatoid Arthritis

This is an immune-mediated disease and can affect the whole body. Several joints can be affected and the lameness can come and go without notice. 

This is considered to be a more serious condition than dog osteoarthritis.

3. Degenerative Disc Disease

This is where the discs in the vertebrae develop calcification and become rigid. They become less able to withstand compression. 

This can lead to severe injury and paralysis if the discs rupture or become herniated.

4. Stifle Joint Disorder

This is a condition in which the knee and joint become unstable. This is usually due to a stretched or torn ligament. 

This can also cause the joint cartilage to become damaged and inflamed.

5. Canine Hip Dysplasia

This is caused by looseness in the socket connecting the thigh bone and hip bone. 

This development usually occurs when the dog is young but can develop at any age. A common sign is to hear a clicking sound when the dog walks.

Dog Arthritis Treatment Options

The good news is that there are many treatment options available that can help to increase mobility and reduce pain, resulting in an improved quality of life for many dogs.

Before embarking on any course of treatment for your dog, we always recommend consulting your veterinarian. 

You should also monitor your dog closely for any signs of intolerance or worrying side effects when introducing a new supplement or medication 

1. Natural Supplements 

Most natural supplements use chondroitin and/or glucosamine as their primary ingredient. 

All of the glucosamine forms originate and are extracted from shellfish.

Chondroitin is derived from animal cartilage. 

Many products use glucosamine and chondroitin and combine additional supplements to provide a synergistic effect. 

Many studies have been done which have proved the effectiveness of these supplements in humans. 

Dog owners have also reported many positive outcomes for their dogs using these natural supplements.

2. Prescription medication 

These drugs are obtained by prescription only. They are called NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). They can be very effective, but you must be aware of any potential side effects.

At a minimum, you need to have blood work done to monitor the liver enzymes to ensure your dog doesn't have a toxic reaction to the drugs.

3. Surgery

Surgery can be an easy decision or a very difficult one. 

Often, money is a concern, and some surgeries like disc surgery can cost around $3,500. The age of the dog has to be considered when making this decision, and the outlook and prognosis are very important. 

You do not want the dog to suffer unnecessarily. At the very least, you should only consider surgery after ensuring an accurate diagnosis has been made. 

This may involve taking x-rays and a myelogram. A myelogram is done by injecting dye in the spinal canal to enable your doctor to detect abnormalities of the spine, spinal cord, or surrounding structures.

Conclusion: all you need to know about dogs and arthritis

Dog Arthritis can be a very debilitating disease if left untreated. Dog owners should pay close attention to their animals and take prompt action when symptoms are noticed. 

A natural supplement may be all that is needed to help your dog. Sometimes more aggressive treatments are needed such as surgery and prescription medication.

The most important thing is to notice and diagnose the problem and then decide what treatment is best for your dog after consultation with a trusted veterinarian.

We hope you’ve found this guide to canine arthritis helpful.

If you’re looking for a pure, natural, and reliable joint supplement for your pet we recommend these tasty chews. They can be taken daily, taste delicious, and contain a range of effective ingredients to support canine joint health.

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