Canine arthritis can have a negative impact on your dog’s quality of life if not treated. Cartilage begins to break down in your dog’s joints, which causes your dog’s bones to rub together, creating discomfort and pain.
Dogs with canine arthritis have a hard time participating in normal activities because they are in pain. According to VetInfo, canine arthritis symptoms include decreased activity, limping, difficulty standing up from a sitting or laying down position, and an aversion to touch.
Owners tend to confuse canine arthritis with symptoms of old age. While canine arthritis is more common in older dogs, even young dogs can show symptoms of the disease. Canine arthritis can also develop after an injury has healed. Owners that want to preserve their dog’s quality of life should consider pharmaceutical, natural, and surgical treatment methods for canine arthritis.
Pharmaceutical Methods for Treating Canine Arthritis in Your Dog
Aspirin is a common over the counter drug for relieving arthritis pain in dogs. VetInfo recommends owners begin their dogs on a dosage of 5mg/pound. Increasing the dosage to 10mg/pound can be done gradually. Owners should use the lowest dosage possible that still alleviates the symptoms of canine arthritis pain.
Rimadyl is a commonly prescribed painkiller, which is specially formulated for veterinary use. Dogs that take Rimadyl on a long-term basis will be required to have their blood drawn every few months to evaluate their liver function.
Adequan is another veterinary pharmaceutical option. Adequan is given as a twice weekly injection and relieves arthritis pain and stimulates the growth of new cartilage.
Natural Methods for Treating Canine Arthritis in Your Dog
Canine arthritis can be treated naturally by adding a glucosamine supplement to your dog’s diet. Glucosamine levels decline in older dogs, meaning less cartilage is being produced. Glucosamine supplements help bridge this deficit and encourage the growth of new cartilage.
If your dog is overweight, consider switching to a diet food and try light exercise to get their weight down to a healthy level. Extra weight puts more stress on a dog’s joints which can contribute to canine arthritis pain.
Dog owners may also want to consider looking into canine acupuncture from a licensed veterinarian. In 1998, the AVMA acknowledged acupuncture for dogs as a valid veterinary practice.
Surgical Methods for Treating Canine Arthritis in Your Dog
Dogs that display canine arthritis resulting from hip dysplasia or a deformed joint can be treated by surgery, depending on the severity of the condition.
Discussing Methods for Treating Canine Arthritis with Your Veterinarian
Before deciding on a method for treating canine arthritis in your dog, it is important to schedule a veterinary appointment to have a full evaluation done. Your vet can determine the severity of your dog’s arthritis and recommend the best treatment option while taking into consideration your dog’s overall health, activity, and quality of life. Also, even though your dog may be exhibiting signs of canine arthritis, another medical condition could be present.
Treating canine arthritis ensures that your furry friend has the best quality of life possible. With so many treatment options available, you should be able to find a method that works for both you and your dog.