Dog Arthritis – Caring for Your Best Friend

Janice CarsonJanice Carson

Before an individual begins considering the causes or treatment options associated with dog arthritis, it is first important to understand what arthritis is. It is a degenerative condition that affects the joints. Dog arthritis generally affects animals who have inherited an orthopedic disease like hip dysplasia or who have experienced an injury of the joint. There are also some cases of dog arthritis being related to an infection or disease of the joint. What makes dog arthritis of difficult to deal with is that many animals suffer from it long before their human owners realize anything is wrong.

The key to successfully managing the pain, swelling and inflammation associated with dog arthritis is to catch the condition as quickly as possible. Individuals who own a breed of dog known for developing dog arthritis will need to be extra where if there animal begins showing less of an interest in the activities it normally enjoyed or seems to have difficulty or discomfort when moving around. An animal that appears to be stiff, lame or who has difficulty getting moving after waking up from a nap may be experiencing the symptoms of dog arthritis. When dog arthritis is degenerative, the progressive nature of the condition can make the life of the animal almost miserable.

Diagnosing dog arthritis will generally require x-rays to determine whether or not there are bone spurs and may also require blood tests in certain situations. Degenerative dog arthritis is not curable but treatment can make a substantial improvement in the overall quality of the animal’s life. The most common types of treatment for dog arthritis include medications to relieve pain physical therapy and weight control. There’s also been some evidence to support the fact that acupuncture can be an excellent therapy for treating dog arthritis.

It is important for anyone concerned about the effect that dog arthritis can have on their animal to make sure that they encourage regular, but moderate, exercise. It should be noted, however, that excessive exercise can be counterproductive and even dangerous for animal suffering from dog arthritis. Helping to maintain, and even built, muscle mass by low impact activities such as swimming can be an excellent way to manage dog arthritis. The sad fact, however, is that animals suffering from progressive dog arthritis often need to be put down since the pain that they experience can be excruciating, eliminating any quality-of-life that the animal previously enjoyed.

 

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