Are you aware that 1 in 5 dogs over the age of 7 have canine arthritis? Did you know that canine arthritis is more common in large dogs than it is small dogs? Did you also know that dogs that have had prior bone injuries are also more prone to getting canine arthritis? Most dog owners don’t even know that there dog has canine arthritis to begin with.
Canine arthritis is a very painful joint inflammation and joint degeneration. It is devastating for any dog to deal with. May people can’t tell that their dogs have this condition because dogs often have a hard time displaying that they are in pain. They can’t exactly walk up and tell you that they are hurting. So what are some of the symptoms of canine arthritis? One of the first symptoms you should notice is changes in behavior. Some of these changes are: trouble getting up, reduced motion, slow moving, avoiding stairs, slow to lie down, walking very carefully, avoiding jumping, playing less or not playing at all, sleeping more often, less excited to see you when you come home, and weight gain. If you notice even one of these symptoms in your dog, take your dog to a vet.
The treatment of canine arthritis can vary from dog to dog. Most vets begin with X-rays so they can see the extent of the problem. The vet will then prescribe some sort of medication. In older dogs, blood tests will have to be done to monitor any kidney or liver damage that occurs as a side effect of most canine arthritis medication. A medication your vet may prescribe is Rimadyl. Aspirin is another option. Keep in mind that if your vet decides on aspirin that this is a much different and a lower dose than that of which a human would take. You must never give you dog human medication or any other medication without your vet telling you to do so.
There are many some over the counter supplements that vets recommend to be used in conjunction with the canine arthritis medication. One is a supplement called Glucosomine. Glucosamine comes in either a tablet or powder that can be added directly to dog’s the food. Glucosamine is shown to help repair and maintain joint tissue, thus relieving some of the arthritic damage and pain. Chondroitin Sulfate is another supplement that is also used for this purpose. There are also some dog foods that have these supplements in them already. These are premium dog food brands that you must purchase at a specialty pet store or feed store. Some of these are: Nutro (Natural Choice), Iams, and Eukanuba. Check the ingredients of the dog food to see if it contains these supplements.
If your beloved dog has canine arthritis, try to help him or her feel as comfortable as possible. Be understanding of your dog’s painful and devastating condition. Be sure to take you dog to a vet at the first signs of symptoms. This way you can get an early diagnosis before it gets worse and to help your friend manage it’s pain!