As loving dog owners, it’s hard to watch our beloved companions slow down due to arthritis pain. Joint pain is one of the most common ailments experienced by older dogs. Arthritis can occur for many reasons, but injury and instability of the joint (i.e. elbow and hip dysplasia) are the most common causes. Although there is not a lot that can be done to stop the progression of the disease, there are fortunately many things owners can do to slow the progression of arthritis and treat the associated symptoms. Below are the four main components of canine arthritis treatment:
•Weight Control: Keeping your dog at a healthy weight is an important factor in maintaining healthy joints. Dogs bear weight on their joints every day. Even something as simple as using the bathroom can put strain on doggy joints. The less weight your pup has to lug around, the less pressure is placed on his joints- which equals less pain. To keep your dog as pain free as possible, make sure to make a healthy diet a priority.
•Controlled Exercise: Controlled activity can help keep joints mobile, help prevent pain and keep muscles and tendons strong enough to support achy joints. Make sure to ease into a new exercise routine and commit to regular (preferably daily) activity.
•Joint Supplements: Adding a joint supplement to your pet’s healthy lifestyle can help deter the onset of arthritis or slow the progression of the disease. Popular joint supplements like Dasuquin and Joint Max contain powerful ingredients like glucosamine and chondroitin, which protect against the breakdown of cartilage. Doggy joint supplements oftentimes come in flavored tablets, making them easy to administer on a daily basis.
•Pain Medication: If a dog’s arthritis pain becomes so severe that quality of life becomes an issue, pain medication becomes essential. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications are the most commonly prescribed. Your dog’s veterinarian will probably run some blood tests prior to recommending a prescription medication. Rimadyl and Deramaxx are two commonly used pain medications for dogs suffering from arthritis pain.
By making a few lifestyle changes, you can help your sweet pup lead a more active and pain free life. Make sure to discuss any questions or concerns about canine arthritis with your pet’s veterinarian. It’s also a good idea to seek veterinary advice regarding joint supplements, a new diet or a new exercise routine.