by: Suellen Cazarez
The canine is a marvelous creature and just like humans it is made up of bones, ligaments, and cartilage which must protect internal organs and hold four legs erect. And just like man, mans best friend can suffer too. In fact arthritis in dogs is very common.
The joints play an important role in your dog's walking, running, jumping, and any other movements he makes. The joints are lubricated but when the joints are damaged arthritis can set in.
Dogs just like humans can develop arthritis and treating arthritis in dogs is very similar to treating humans. Learn how to recognize and manage this debilitating disease.
Arthritis in dogs can be very difficult to manage and it can also be a bit difficult to diagnose since dogs don't always show the more common symptoms we are trained to expect. The dog may not limp or they may not appear to be in pain. The symptoms may be much more subtle than that.
The hips is the most common place for arthritis especially in some breeds. Your veterinary can check by taking some pictures. These x-rays and radiographic images will help the vet determine where the deterioration is.
Arthritis is a disease that causes changes to the joint and the tissue surrounding it. It can be caused by an injury to a joint or stress to the area. It may also be the result of a poor immune system. It is the most common cause of hip dysplasia in dogs.
Animals seldom show visible signs that they are suffering. Vets are very good at spotting the subtle behavior changes that we might miss. You need to know and understand your dog's characteristics so that you can easily tell what he wants to do.
Signs of arthritis may involve your pet being stiff after exercise, having trouble getting up and moving, or not wanting to climb the stairs. If your think your pooch has it's important to make an appointment with your vet and not try to self treat.
There are some excellent treatments available for your dog if it suffers from debilitating arthritis. Pfizer makes a drug called Rimadyl or Carprofen. It is the most prescribed treatment on the market with more than 10 million dogs being treated. Of course your vet should run regular blood tests if your dog is on long term anti-inflammatory treatment.
Deramaxx by Novartis is another popular treatment in the NSAID family as is Metacam a liquid form, and EtoGesic. Ask your veterinary which is right for your dog.
You can also do some other things to help make your dog more comfortable. Making sure your dog is not overweight is an important part of managing and treating arthritis. Exercise is also important in maintaining joint mobility and flexibility.
Your dog should have soft cushioned sleeping quarters. Do not place your dog on a hardwood floor or in a dog house. Massage therapy is also a good alternative treatment to help mobility.
There are some great nutritional supplements that you should consider feeding your dog before they develop arthritis and of course if they have arthritis. Glucosamine and Chondrotin formulas are definitely supplements worth feeding to your dog. Make sure you purchase from a manufacturer that is known for their quality product.
Do not make the mistake of thinking a human medication that works for you will be good for your dog. Acetaminophen will damage your dogs liver and Ibruprophin has been linked to gastro bleeding.
Whether your vet decides to treat with surgery or drugs you need to make sure your pet gets lots of rest and that you don't over exercise. Follow your vet's advice and Fido will continue to lead a happy, pain free life.