Arthritis in Dogs: What to Look For
If you’re a dog owner, then you know, there’s nothing as satisfying as the greeting from your perfect pooch after a long day’s work. However, if for some reason your dog doesn’t greet you like they used to, this may be alarming and a red flag. It may not be for the reason of not wanting to; it could be that your pup may be silently crying out for help and suffering from a very common condition dogs get as they age. Arthritis and joint pain are becoming more and more common in dogs over the age of eight years, especially in specific types of breeds. In general, the larger the breed of dog, the more likely they are to suffer from joint pain, and the earlier you need to start preventative measures.
Dog Breeds Prone to Arthritis:
- German Shepherds
- Golden Retrievers
- Labrador Retrievers
- Great Danes
- St. Bernards
Dog’s are experts at hiding their pain and will try their hardest to keep their suffering a secret. If you have not yet noticed any signs of joint pain, you’re very lucky, as most dogs will be affected by the condition at some point in their lives. The best time to take action is before symptoms are present. Luckily, there are signs and symptoms to keep an eye out for:
If you notice your dog’s overall energy levels have significantly and suddenly decreased, your dog may be experiencing inflammation in their joints. For example: difficulty in rising, jumping or being active is the most often cited sign by pet owners.
Limping and changes in your dog’s gait, whether it’s while getting up, going up steps, or during a walk, are all signs that your dog may be having joint pain, muscle spasms, or inflammation.
Licking, Chewing or Biting
Pay attention to where your dog is licking or grooming themselves. Excessive attention in one area of the body might be a result of joint pain. Also, If your dog has become irritable in certain areas of their body, they may be suffering from hidden pain.
If your dog is experiencing changes in their personality or becoming grumpy when petted in certain areas, arthritis could be the culprit.
Obesity is often an indirect sign of joint discomfort, as dogs become less active due to pain. If you notice they aren’t wanting to walk, play or move around in general, weight gain is common but can make arthritis even worse.
Arthritis is defined as painful inflammation and stiffness in the joints. There are several different types of arthritis that can affect dogs, but the most common is osteoarthritis — also known as degenerative joint disease. As dogs age, the cartilage in their joints begins to thin. This cartilage serves to cushion and protect the bones in the joint, and if it thins too much, the bones can rub against each other and break down. The resulting friction causes pain and loss of mobility. The most common locations are the hips, elbows, knees, wrists, shoulders, ankles, and lower back.
With knowing all of this, attempts should be made to help slow down the degeneration of the joint and repair the loss of the cartilage. Keeping your dog mobile, healthy and happy all play a significant role in preventing this orthopedic condition. There are a variety of supplements, exercises and approaches recommended to manage this disease and get to the root of the cause. Fortunately, with these growing times, research and solutions are being provided for the common dog owner to help keep their dogs healthy. We all want what’s best for our faithful fur-children, and we will go above and beyond to help them in any way. Here are our recommended strategies for managing your dog’s arthritis and joint pain:
Making sure to feed your dog quality food which aids in their overall health goes hand in hand with keeping orthopedic conditions at bay. Along with proper nutrition, keeping them hydrated with fresh and clean water is also very important for their physical health.
Consistent, Safe Exercise
Different breeds need different levels of exercise. Low impact, consistent walks are good for both your dog and yourself. Hydrotherapy is a wonderful solution for dogs with mobility issues. Not only does swimming keep their mental, cardiac and respiratory systems healthy, it will also keep their bones, joints and muscles strong to ensure overall wellness.
For dogs suffering from joint issues, a massage can go along way to help relieve tension and increase flexibility. Make sure to take your dog to a certified professional and pay attention your dog’s response to their massage.
Acupuncture is often used to treat dogs with arthritis and joint inflammation. For example, dogs with hip dysplasia or degenerative joint disease are good candidates for acupuncture, which may alleviate pain and improve joint range of motion. Dogs with chronic back pain and even dogs with serious spinal cord conditions also benefit from acupuncture.
Supportive & Comfortable Bedding
Please do not skimp on your dog’s bed. Investing in bedding with padding, firmness and support for their entire body is critical as they age. This will provide relief for them and improve their quality of life.
A good quality joint supplement, fish oil, and pet hemp oil for dogs is what we recommend for dogs who have an inflammatory condition. These are a natural alternative to pain medication, with no harmful side effects and no psychoactive alterations. Turmeric supplements are also great for keeping inflammation at bay, but please, always consult your Vet before starting your pet on any new supplements. You can place your pets order for hemp oil through our website by clicking here.
Let’s strive to support fit, structurally sound dogs and maintain them with excellent nutrition. This mixed with age and breed appropriate exercise keeping them at optimal body weights and beginning supplemental integrative therapies early or when they show symptoms of inflammation, pain and arthritis. Always consult with a knowledgeable veterinarian or holistic care provider before supplementing. All dogs are different, as well as their needs.
About Dip’ n Dogs Hydrotherapy – Orlando, FL
At Dip’n Dogs Hydrotherapy, we are certified and caring professionals devoted to restoring and enhancing the health and happiness of your beloved pup. Encompassing a pool, as well as a certified hydrotherapist, this can provide effective and long lasting results for your pet’s injury or illness. We are conveniently located in Winter Park, FL. Contact us today at (407) 227-0030. Our Services include the following: Outdoor Hydrotherapy and In-Home Mobile Therapy for dogs. We look forward to hearing from you!