Arthritis in dogs is a degenerative disorder. It is more likely to affect a dog when he is well past his prime youth. Various factors, such as obesity and lack of daily exercise, contribute to this bone and joint pain disorder and also worsen the symptoms of this progressive disease. There are many different ways and home remedies that you can use to actually help to ease the pain of canine arthritis.
The degenerative disorder can affect all dog breeds and there is no treatment for arthritis in dogs. However, you can manage the symptoms and stem its progress. Early intervention is vital to slow down this progressive disorder and awareness is key to early treatment. Here is a guide to signs of about arthritis in dogs and tips to treat and relieve symptoms in your pet.
Signs of Arthritis in Dogs: Is Your Dog Feeling Joint Pain?
When your pet Labrador Retriever has arthritis, he experiences joint pain in different parts of his body. The following are six most common signs of arthritis in dogs. With these visible signs, you can make a perfect assessment whether a dog has been suffering from this degenerative disorder.
- Limping: Dogs limp for a variety of reasons and one of them is canine arthritis.
- Cowering Down: When your dog cannot keep his body straight, it is likely that he has arthritis. Spinal trouble will cause a dog to hunch over or cower down more than usual since holding their head up straight is painful for them.
- Unusual Grumpiness: A normally friendly dog may become grumpy when in constant pain. If your dog snaps at you when you pat him in a certain area of his body, chances are higher that he is feeling arthritic pain in that area.
- Inactivity: The onset of arthritis leads to gradual fall in the activity level. Your normally active dog may feel the pinch of pain and prefers to cut down on daily activities and stay immobile to get respite from pain in joints and bones. Such a decrease is not sudden, but gradual over a few weeks. An arthritic dog may limp or react when you force him to run.
- Loss of Muscle Mass: Muscle atrophy is a common sign in dogs with arthritis. With pain and immobility setting in, muscle tissues around the hip and front leg joints start to loosen and die. However, muscle atrophy is not the exclusive sign of arthritis in your Labrador. There several other health conditions that also lead to the loss of muscle mass.
- Difficulty With Common Activities: Like in humans, dogs with arthritis find it hard to use the stairs, get off the couch, or get into the car.
Body Parts Affected by Arthritis in Dogs
As a responsible dog owner, it is your duty to keep an eye on your pets. They cannot tell us they are in pain. Nor can they pinpoint in which areas of their body they are feeling the pain. Arthritis mostly impacts joint in the body, such as hip, elbow, shoulder, paws, and the neck. It may also affect the back with spinal disks bearing the burnt.
Home Remedies for Arthritis in Dogs
Your veterinarian may recommend a long-term course of treatment with anti-inflammatory and pain-relief medications. Apart from this, there are many home remedies that you can resort to reduce arthritic pain in your dog and keep him mobile and free from pain.
- Low-Impact Exercise: Giving your dog low-impact exercise, such as swimming, is the best way to keep your dog happy and fit. Swimming helps keep your dog’s muscles toned without impacting the joints.
- Joint Supplements: Besides the medications prescribed by your vet, you may also opt to give your arthritic dog joint supplements. There are quite a few supplements, such as glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, that help improve your dog’s joint health.
- Change in Diet: Changing your dog’s diet may be necessary if you think he or she is suffering from arthritis. Added body weight puts unwanted pressure on your dog’s joints, and this causes more pain. Try switching to a low-calorie alternative.
- Keep Your Dog Warm: Dogs with arthritis also experience more severe arthritic pain if they stay in the cold environment. When the temperature dips, they are likely to suffer from more inflammation and swelling in joint.
- Dog Massage: Massage improves blood circulation and has many benefits for an arthritic dog. Giving your dog a massage will increase his joint flexibility, blood, circulation, muscular strength, and sense of well-being.