Dogs and arthritis

27 Jan

 I have a young dog with arthritis.  It is sad and frustrating for him and myself.  He wants to run, play and wrestle…and sometimes just can’t.  So I have been reading about it and thought I would share some of the things I learned.  Feel free to visit the web site listed below.

Osteoarthritis that is a progressive degenerative joint disease where the cartilage breaks down causing the bones to rub against each other and the result is dog joint pain and stiffness.

Hip Dysplasia is a genetic degenerative disease cause by a malformation of the hip sockets. Chronic inflammation of the joints occurs and the tissues surrounding the area begin to deteriorate and breakdown.

Elbow Dysplasia is also a degenerative hereditary disease where the bones do not form well and causes the bones to chip. It is considered to be hereditary and is seen as a common cause of front-leg lameness in larger breeds of dogs.

Knee Dysplasia is a malformation of the leg bones that causes the loosening of bone at the kneecap which is painful, and causes lameness and limping in your dog.

Hypertrophic Dog Arthritis is excessive bone growth or spurs in the joints.

Osteochondrosis results from poor breeding practices caused by a poor diet that leads to cartilage deterioration.

Degeneration of the Shoulders whereby unstable joint or trauma cause the breakdown of cartilage in the shoulder, leading to inflammation and pain on movement, and consequently, chronic canine arthritis that affects other parts of the body as well.

Degenrative arthritis is a painful condition and can make your dog’s life miserable, therefore the sooner you detect the signs of dog arthritis, the faster you can adopt measures to slow its progression and help save your dog from further pain. Here is a rundown on some of the signs and symptoms that your dog may have athritis:

Canine Arthritis Symptoms
  • Stiffness, lameness, or limping after rest
  • Loss of appetite or unusual weight gain
  • Inactivity and sleeping a lot more
  • Relutance to walk, run or climb stairs
  • Unusual urinating in the house
  • Irritability and behavioural changes
  • Depressed or withdrawn

http://www.dogarthritisnomore.com/

Arthritis doesn’t discriminate. It affects not only people of all ages — including children — but also strikes our furry friends, too. If you’re a dog-owner, you make sure your buddy takes his heartworm medicine, eats well, looks bright-eyed and playful, and greets you as only a doggy can when you come home. You notice changes in mood and activity, so if your pet isn’t feeling his best you may suspect a cold or stomach virus – but it could be arthritis. In fact, arthritis affects one in every five adult dogs in the U.S. and is one of the most common sources of chronic pain that veterinarians treat

Dino to Fido

Arthritis is one of the oldest diseases in history. We know that the dinosaurs had it and there is evidence that early humans lived with the same chronic aches and pains. So it makes sense that Dogs Get Arthritis, Too. In fact, it is a common ailment of man’s best friend.

The Human-Hound Connection

Now you know that both you and your dog can get arthritis, but did you know that managing your dog’s arthritis can help you better manage yours? It’s true that having a pet can give you a positive spin on life, boost your attitude and lift your spirits. Pet-owners also tend to live longer and have fewer visits to the doctor’s office.

More good news is that the treatment strategy for osteoarthritis in humans and in canines is similar:

  • Early diagnosis and treatment
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Exercise
  • Proper medication

Don’t Spare Yourself to Spoil the Dog

We can’t help it. We spoil our pets. If you focus more on your dog’s health than on yours, try these tips to keep both of you healthy and active.

  • Visit the doctor. Your pet needs to see the veterinarian at least once a year for a check-up – maybe more. When you make his appointment, call your own doctor and schedule one for yourself. Make sure you both get some baseline X-rays to chart your bone deterioration.
  • Shed excess pounds. Pay more attention to what your pet eats and when, and do the same for yourself. Read the food labels for each of you to make sure that every bite is giving you both good energy and nutrition. Limit your servings and don’t cheat by eating between meals or slipping Fido extra snacks.
  • Coordinate your dog’s medication schedule with your own to make sure you both take your dosage every day. Arrange medicine with mealtime if it needs to be taken with food. Keep your meds together so you will see yours every time you reach for his. Use colorful stickers or permanent markers to help distinguish whose medication is whose, especially if you have trouble reading small print.
  • Never let your dog take your medicine – and don’t take his – without discussing it with your doctor.
  • Let Rover take you for walk. Instead of kicking your dog off the couch so you can stretch out, kick him off, grab the leash and stretch out together. Take a walk or run with your four-legged friend. You’ll both strengthen the muscles around your joints, which reduces stress on the joint itself. But don’t over do it. Both of you need to increase exercise levels slowly and stay hydrated. Monitor how you both feel after the walk to determine if you need to increase or decrease your level next time. Don’t only treat your own blisters and sore feet – be sure to check Fido’s paws and pads after exercising for lesions or lacerations.

Therapies may include:

  • Healthy diet and exercise to help maintain proper weight.
  • Working with your veterinarian to find a drug treatment that helps relieve the pain.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS): the most common form of pharmaceutical treatment for arthritis in dogs.
  • Over-the-counter pet treatments, such as pills or food containing either glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate or Omega fatty acids. Both have shown to help relieve the symptoms of arthritis in dogs.
  • A veterinarian-prescribed NSAID and an over-the-counter treatment that together may help decrease pain and disease progression.

Never give your dog human medication without checking first with your veterinarian. Certain medications can be toxic to dogs – particularly acetaminophen and ibuprofen – and a safe dose will differ between a greyhound and a dachshund.

No matter how you decide to treat your dog’s arthritis, make sure you work with a veterinarian to ensure that you select a program that helps your best buddy.

http://www.arthritis.org/arthritis-dogs-2.php

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2 Responses to “Dogs and arthritis”

  1. mrscummingsrx January 27, 2011 at 12:56 am #

    Poor baby! Mine are still pups but this is great info! Thanks for the post!

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