How can you tell if your dog is suffering from arthritis? A Comprehensive Guide

Medications to Treat Arthritis in Dogs

Your veterinarian may decide to perform a blood test to determine if your dog is eligible for prescription medication, like non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), to help manage arthritis pain. If your dog is suitable, your veterinarian will work with you on the specifics of dosage and administering the medication. Remember that human NSAIDs, like Ibuprofen or Naproxen, are toxic medications to dogs and should never be given to them for pain relief.

Diet and Supplements to Treat Arthritis in Dogs

Your dog’s diet is always of the utmost importance and even more so if your dog has arthritis. Dr. Klein says, “weight management is prime,” for arthritic dogs. Excessive weight causes extra strain on your dog’s body and joints. Although exercise may be difficult, especially if the arthritis is severe, you can work with your veterinarian to find appropriate activities. Additionally, you can pay close attention to his diet.

Make sure you have the right food for your dog and that it meets his nutritional needs. Prescription foods sold by veterinarians might be particularly useful in helping your dog’s arthritis. These foods often contain natural anti-inflammatory, antioxidants, or Omega fatty acids.

Furthermore, you might want to consider a food containing glucosamine or giving glucosamine or chondroitin as supplements. These sulfates are the building blocks of healthy cartilage and appear to stimulate the body to make more cartilage. Dr. Klein says that studies on glucosamine and chondroitin are conflicting. However, some demonstrate a beneficial effect on arthritis pain.

Should you walk a dog with arthritis?

Yes – moderate, low-impact exercise is encouraged no matter what. This can, in fact, help doggies with arthritis move easier, and also prevents weight gain which can add further stress to their joints.

If your dog has been diagnosed with arthritis, they might not enjoy activities that they previously did, such as high-impact running, jumping or agility games.

However, this is by no means a sign that they should stop exercising altogether.

Take it step-by-step. Instead, the goal should be to increase their heart rate sufficiently so that they remain active.

It’s fundamental that they maintain some form of muscular strength, and that you as their owner do all you can to preserve their remaining mobility.

Try a couple of minutes of gentle playing or walking before initiating a range of low-impact exercises, or short, frequent walks. Gentle exercise or walking can also help to reduce cramp, injury or sprains.

How Can You Tell if Your Dog has Arthritis: top 10 symptoms

Is your four-legged friend struggling to get down from the sofa? Perhaps they don’t run to greet you as you open the front door anymore? Your dog could be suffering from arthritis, which causes inflammation of the joints and limits their mobility.

However, canine arthritis is particularly common, affecting 4 out of 5 older dogs. It can also affect younger, more active canines, depending on their breed, weight and general health.

Osteoarthritis is the most common cause of chronic pain in canines, and this affects multiple joints at any one time.

It can disrupt everyday life for your dog, due to the abnormal rubbing that takes place between joints.

The most common areas affected by arthritis in canines are the elbows, hips, knees, lower back and wrists.

Once the cartilage is damaged, a full recovery is rare – however with proper treatment and care, you can still do your best to make sure they remain a happy hound.

We can empathise with the discomfort caused by arthritis, so it’s important to consider how this might be affecting your pet.

This way, you can begin treatment early, halt the progression of the disease and preserve their quality of life.

Just like us humans, the insides of a dog’s joints are protected by a smooth layer of cartilage that acts as a lubricant when the joints rub together or move back and forth.

This, in turn, encourages new bone growth to develop around the joints, also known as bone spurs, which is why bones become so stiff.

Dogs typically experience arthritis in the same way humans do and it’s most prevalent in older dogs as they age. However, it can affect your pooch at any age due to a variety of factors:

Larger dogs tend to experience symptoms of arthritis more often than smaller breeds, such as German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, Rottweilers and Golden Retrievers.

This can cause stress on the joint, and therefore increase wear and tear on joint cartilage.

Abnormalities inherited at birth can include hip dysplasia, where the joints have not developed properly.

There are various forms of arthritis in dogs, and septic arthritis is caused by a bacterial infection typically affecting a single joint.

Another form of canine arthritis is immune-mediated polyarthritis, which is when the immune system cannot properly fight off infections and causes inflammation of the joints.