The Seven Best Tips You Need to Relieve Your Dog’s Arthritis
We’ve all seen the symptoms slowly sneak up on our furry loved ones:
They long since ceased to run and jump around like they use to and climbing the steps now seems like a daunting task. Similar to people, dogs also suffer from arthritis but luckily for us (and for them), dog arthritis treatment has become simpler than ever.
Causes of Dog Arthritis & Dog Arthritis Symptoms
Thanks to the progress in the health community regarding canine health, dogs are living full and long lives more than ever before. That said, on the downside dogs are suffering more from degenerative joint disease also known as osteoarthritis (aka dog arthritis).
The good news is that there are a variety of dog arthritis treatments, some of them consisting of dog arthritis meds and there are also a variety of natural remedies and even home remedies for dog arthritis.
The main cause of dog arthritis is due to the extraction of joint fluid as a result of old cells that release enzymes. As dogs (and people) age, the cartilage around the joints become worn and as a result the cartilage cells die, releasing enzymes. As a result of this process, osteophytes (extra bone growth, generally around the joints) may begin to grow. Due to the lack of cartilage, the joints normal use becomes distorted and painful.
Dog Arthritis Symptoms
Not all dogs may display their dog arthritis the same way. Limping, teetering and difficulty to walk are all obvious symptoms of dog arthritis however there may be additional signs as well including reluctance to stand up and reluctance to walk which we may have thought to be a behavioral issue but may be due to dog arthritis in the hips or other joints.
For older dogs, the symptoms of dog arthritis may be attributed to old age but for younger dogs exhibiting symptoms that suggest the onset of arthritis, there may be an underlying cause that requires separate treatment including the following:
- Various diseases and bacterial and/or viral infectious
- Cardiovascular issues
- Certain type of cancer (specifically, bone cancer)
- Anemic condictions
- Certain endocrine issues conditions such as Cushing’s
We’ve found that a holistic approach combining several of the tips below tends to be the most effective for dog arthritis treatment. Additionally, implementing a holistic approach and using natural remedies for your dog’s arthritis may prevent the possible negative side-effects of pharmaceutical treatments.
Here are some of the best tips from vets that we’ve come across for your dog’s arthritis:
- Proper Diet & Nutrition
Body Weight - Ensuring that your dog’s weight is within the acceptable standards can help to prevent joint issues down the road. Maintaining a healthy weight is extremely important not only to prevent dog arthritis, but also additional symptoms as well.
Nutrition – Making sure your dog is getting the right nutrition with dog food formulated for their stage of life can also be an important factor in overall health of your dog as specialized dog foods for different stages contain different quantities and compositions of vitamins. In terms of dog arthritis natural remedies, you should consider speaking to your vet about adding omega-3 into their diet. The anti-inflammatory effects of omega-3 fatty acids (EPA, DHA) are known to be effective in reducing arthritis in dogs have also been documented to be of help in dogs with arthritis. While some dog foods do include omega-3, in order to really take advantage of the anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3, supplements may be a good idea.
- Easy Access for Your Pet
Similar to older aged adults experiencing arthritis, try and keep your dog away from cold drafts which may aggravate the arthritis symptoms. Additionally, placing a carpet around your dog’s bed as well as installing non-skid flooring may ease their pain when walking throughout the house. Another good idea would be to consider creating ramps rather than difficult-to-navigate stairways for your dog.
- Physiotherapy (Dog Massages)
Dog massages may be effective in promoting improved blood flow to the pain points and muscles. Try and find a local dog masseuse that’s certified and can demonstrate their techniques to you. Have a look here for further details (http://www.nbcaam.org/). Warm compresses on the pain points may also be effective in soothing the affected areas but be careful not to burn your pet.
Exercise is an important element is your dog’s natural remedy plan. Early detection can be a big advantage in order to begin mobility exercises and walks in order to stave off your dog’s arthritis symptoms for as long as possible.
You can also visit the Canine Rehabilitation Institute for more info regarding different therapy options for your dog.
- Natural Therapy Remedies for Dog Arthritis
Certain herbs can also be helpful in reducing inflammations and helping your dog's overall health.
Laser Therapy: Class IV therapeutic laser is a newer form of treatment that stimulates blood flow to tissues and can greatly improve arthritic conditions.
- Pharmaceutical Treatments:
Currently on the market, there are several options for dog arthritis treatment.
The first option, Adequan injections, have a long history of use by vets to for dog arthritis treatment. A potent chondroprotective agent, Adequan (polysulfated glycosaminoglycan, or PSGAG) provides the body with the building blocks of cartilage it needs to assist in repairing its own tissues. The downside of Adequan is that it’s a fairly expensive prescription. Additionally, there is a potential side effect of increased bleeding. Despite the potential side effects, it remains a popular treatment option including for von Willebrand disease-affected dogs.
Additional pharmaceutical treatments for dog arthritis treatment include pain relievers such as analgesics like tramadol, a synthetic opioid. Although tramadol isn’t an anti-inflammatory treatment, it does reduce the pain caused by dog arthritis and is fairly inexpensive and is considered to be safe by most vets. Additional pain killer medications include Gabapentin and amantadine which target the nervous system, altering the transmission and strength of pain signals.
An additional pharmaceutical option is steroids (which do reduce inflammations )however there are a variety of potentially negative side effects that should be understood before starting any treatment. Primarily, steroids if used over a long period of time, may increase the risk of diabetes, medically-induced Cushing’s Disease, liver inflammations, immune system issue and other complications.
Therefore, in order to avoid the large number of potentially unwanted side effects from steroid prescriptions, vets may prescribe additional pharmaceuticals to avoid gastric erosion or ulceration including inhibitors (omeprazole) or gastrointestinal protectants (sucralfate). If ulcer symptoms develop, steroids should be discontinued.
That being said, for short term use, steroids may be a useful alternative.
Some of the less common pharmaceuticals that vets may prescribe for dog arthritis symptoms are from a family of drugs known as veterinary NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). Examples of Canine NSAIDs include Rimadyl, EtoGesic, Deramaxx, Previcox, Metacam and Feldene. These drugs have very serious and even potential fatal side effects and in certain cases, even if not fatal, the damage may be permanent and therefore these drugs should be used with great caution.
Potential complications from these drugs include but are not limited to irreversible organ-system failure, gastric ulcers, seizures and more. Before commencing a NSAID-based regimen for your dog, blood tests need to be carried out first to minimize risks. If you do begin giving your dog any NSAID prescription medicines, you should request to have periodic blood tests for your pet. Additionally, ask to receive the client information sheet for whichever prescription your dog is taking to better understand the risks involved. Discuss with your vet what types of symptoms may develop and cease use immediately if you see any of the symptoms. Never give NSAIDs together with steroids or aspirin and never give your dog regular pain killers meant for people.
- CBD Oil for Dogs
CBD or cannabidiol oil, is a compound found in cannabis or as marijuana is it's more commonly known.
CBD contains powerful anti-inflammatory ingredients, making it extremely effective at improving dog’s arthritis symptoms. Modern science believes that the CBD interacts with receptors called CB2 which are receptors within the immune cells, to reduce inflammation and arthritis symptoms.
The additional benefit of CBD, as mentioned previously, is the combined effect of reducing inflammation while minimizing pain, making it an ideal natural remedy for a variety of symptoms such as arthritis, MS, etc.
As a natural remedy for dog arthritis, CBD oil is an excellent option that can both reduce the underlying inflammation as well as reduce pain.
Learn more at www.PetSerene.com how cbd oil can help your pet.