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How to help dogs with arthritis

 by jennifer on 24 Aug 2021 |
1 Comment(s)
Arthritis cannot be cured, but you can help manage your pet’s symptoms. Here are a few tips to help senior dogs experiencing arthritis. 

How to help dogs with arthritis


Arthritis is a common problem in dogs, particularly as they age. Though there is no cure for this common condition, recognizing the signs of arthritis early can help you manage your dog’s symptoms and slow progression of the disease, improving his quality of life well into his senior years.

Known as osteoarthritis or Degenerative Joint Disease, arthritis is caused as the cartilage that acts as a buffer between bones slowly breaks down over time, leading to inflamed and painful joint. Through injuries and stress can lead to the condition, arthritis is often the result of wear over time. Not only can it be painful for your pet, but arthritis can also lead to decreased range of mobility. The condition can develop in any joint, but is primarily found in dog’s legs and lower backs, which receive the most use over the course of Fido’s lifetime.

It can be difficult to recognize the signs of arthritis early, especially because our pets are experts at hiding pain. However, catching the condition early in its progression can help pet parents manage its effects and improve their dog’s quality of like. Early signs of degenerative joint disease include stiffness and difficulty getting up, lethargy, weight gain, behavioral changes such as irritability, a pained response to being touched, and difficulty using the bathroom due to decreased mobility. If your middle- to senior-aged pet is experiencing symptoms that you think are arthritis, take him to the veterinarian for a joint examination.

Though there is no cure for osteoarthritis, you can help slow its progression through exercise and joint-supporting supplements. Keep your dog lightly to moderately active as his joints allow helps him maintain a healthy weight, which reduces stress on his joints. Some pets with limited mobility enjoy swimming, which provides exercise without putting pressure on the joints. Dietary changes include providing Fido with supplements to help reduce inflammation and slow the progression of joint damage. Glucosamine and chondroitin are both well-known supplements that reduce inflammation and increase cartilage water retention, which helps cushion the joints and make your pet more comfortable. You can also make adjustments to your pet’s daily routine that make him more comfortable, such as providing him extra, soft bedding and minimizing his need to jump or go up and down stairs. Dogs experiencing moderate or severe arthritis may also benefit from pain medication to manage symptoms. Most pet owners use Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs, or NSAIDs, to treat chronic pain in their dogs. However, this group of drugs can have other deleterious effects when used over a long period of time and should be reserved for dogs experiencing significant arthritis pain. Consult your veterinarian before treating arthritis with NSAIDs.

Though arthritis cannot be cured, there are several ways to manage your companion’s symptoms so he can live a more comfortable life. Help him maintain a healthy weight to reduce stress on high joints through diet and exercise. Joint supplements can also help reduce inflammation that causes arthritis pain and help slow the progression of the disease.

Comment(s)1

Bryson Fico - Comment
Bryson Fico01 Sep 2021Reply
We are going to give glucosamine and chondroitin a try. Our older dogs have been walking with a gimp lately - thank you!

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