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Arthritis in dogs Arthritis in dogs and cats
Dogs like people suffer from various injuries, and medical conditions throughout their lives. One of the most long lasting and painful conditions your canine may suffer from is arthritis.
Many people are surprised to discover that arthritis in dogs is much more common that most people think with one in every 5 dogs suffering from this condition sometime during their life. Young dogs are as apt to suffer from arthritis as older dogs, and can result in your pet experience pain, stiffness, irritability and robbing them of their zest for life and enjoyment of simple dog activites.
Causes of Arthritis in Dogs
Any dog that has suffered from conditions during their life such as hip dysplasia, patella luxation, or joint trauma may suffer from arthritis at some point in their lives. Large dogs are more subject to suffering from this condition than smaller dogs, but smaller dogs are not entirely immune, and a miniature poodle, chihuahua, or dachshund who has injured a hip, elbow, or even ankle joint jumping off furniture as a young pup, may well suffer from arthritis as they get older.
Like humans with this condition, dogs with arthritis will suffer from varying degrees of pain, and stiffness and the same dog may experience one day where there is minimal stiffness and pain and the next day, they find walking to their food and water dish difficult due to the pain in their joints.
How to Know For Sure if Your Dog Has Arthritis
In some cases, the first signs of arthritis in your pet may not noticeable. It may be something as small as your dog refusing to go outside if the weather is damp or cold, a slight stiffness in their gait, or even a sudden or periodic disinterest in playing their favorite game of fetch or not being eager to go for a walk. These symptoms may occur so infrequently at first that you don’t really notice, or chalk it up to your dog feeling tired occasionally. However, eventually these signs will begin to increase to the point that you realize that your dog is not longer the spry and bouncy canine he once was.
The only way to know for sure if your dog is suffering from arthritis or if there may be some other medical reason for his change in behavior or habits is seek the assistance of a veterinarian.
Your vet will normally take Xrays and do a full examination of your pet, before offering a diagnosis.
Treatment of Arthritis in Dogs
There is no cure for your dog’s arthritis. However, there are a number of treatments and medications that can help reduce the pain and swelling for your pet and number of things you can do at home to make your dog more comfortable as well.
For starters if your dog tends to be overweight, watching their diet and helping them to shed some of those excess pounds will lessen the pressure on the effected joints which may result in less inflammation and swelling and reduce the pain while increasing your dogs mobility.
Providing your pet with a well padded, warm and dry place to sleep will also help to relieve some of the pain and stiffness your pet is experiencing.
You also want to make sure that your dog has daily, but moderate exercise. Exercise will help reduce stiffness, keep the joints more mobile and make your dog feel better and healthier in general. However, don’t overdue the exercise as forcing your dog to exercise for prolonged periods or engage in high impact activities may actually be worse for your dog than no exercise at all. Short walks two or three times a day are generally better than an hour or two exercise all at one.
By properly caring for a dog with arthritis, you can ensure that your dog lives a healthier and more enjoyable life even when suffering from this painful condition. Arthritis in dogs Arthritis in dogs and cats.