Aging dogs develop osteoarthritis and other degenerative joint problems. Many treatments are available both homeopathic and palliative care. A family pet does not need to unnecessarily suffer and your vet will help you to control as well as treat this condition.
Cause of pain
Osteoarthritis is the number 1 cause of pain that is chronic in dogs, and usually being a problem for one in five adult dogs, with the frequency more than doubling in dogs 7 years and older. The problems that develop with this disease include:
- Loss of mobility
- Decreased quality of life
Other signs of canine arthritis consist of:
- Slow pace when walking
- Pain in exercising
- Not able to climb or jump steps
If you have had your dog for years, it will be easy to notice these signs and begin treatments early, slowing the disease’s progression, and keep the dog with a good quality of life.
First you need to take your pet to the vet so that the vet can find the arthritic area and the vet will decide what is the problem and is it really arthritis. There are infections that can cause the arthritis, and can be treated with antibiotics. If the problem is cause by being overweight, the vet can put your dog on a diet or dietary dog food.
In most cases, the arthritis cannot be cured but there are several treatments that will keep your dog in a situation where the pet can remain active. Your vet will possibly prescribe painkillers. Aspirin can also help with any inflammation but it can cause gastric bleeding so your pet will need to be watched carefully. Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen cannot be given to dogs.
There are natural remedies that also can help your dog with arthritis and these are cartilage supplements such as chondroitin sulphate and glycosaminoglycans. There are many other natural treatments including using herbs, hydrotherapy, acupuncture and physical therapy. Your vet will advise which is best.
Stay in touch with vet
You need to stay in touch with your vet no matter which treatment your dog is getting – it seems that all dogs respond to treatment differently.
Some dogs might be diagnosed with dysplasia that is severe and this is a problem that can begin very early. These are joints that will develop arthritis. Dysplasia often means surgery and leads to arthritis at a very young age.
Many dogs in this situation gain some benefits from a natural diet as well as dog supplements that can possibly improve the joints. Often raw, grain-free diet can help to the point where the dog might be able to be taken off of pain medications.
The best first step in treating canine arthritis is to use nutraceuticals supplements that are glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), and also known as mucopolysaccarides. These include glucosamine (both sulphate and the HCI forms) and chondroitin sulphate, from sources such as shellfish shells, mussel green-lipped, and cartilage. There is also included in this category of drugs the injectable forms sold under the brand names Adequan in the U.S.