Posted on May 30 2011
Dog arthritis is a debilitating condition that refers to the gradual degeneration of the joints. The disease attacks the cartilage in the joints and will result in the growth of bone spurs and scar tissue. These make the joint stiffer and are the source of chronic pain and inflammation. When dog arthritis is in its most advanced stage, “bone to bone” contact occurs. This means so much cartilage has been lost that the bones are exposed. Without the joint cartilage’s cushioning, the arthritic dog is rendered immobile as simple acts of standing up or sitting becomes too difficult and painful to do.
There is no cure for dog arthritis. However, there are ways to prevent the disease from severely compromising a dog’s quality of life. Here are four steps to do so:
Proper Diet: Studies have shown that overweight dogs are more likely to develop dog arthritis at an earlier age than their fitter counterparts. Also, the extra pounds add more mechanical stress to the joints; thus, increasing the pace of degeneration of the cartilage. Thus, when feeding your dog it is important to focus on the right quality and quantity. Keep your pup in shape with vegan dog food.
Exercise: Overdoing any physical activity can hasten the progress of arthritis. Hence, low impact exercises such as walking are mostly recommended. Walking is a cheap and easy way to maintain your dog’s fitness. In addition, it is a great opportunity to bond with your dog.
Supplements: There are now many dog supplements that are specifically formulated to maintain a dog's joint health. Effective joint health supplements contain components such as glucosamine, chondroitin, omega-3, or avocado and soybean unsaponifiables. These natural active ingredients help stop further damage on the joint cartilage and will aid in the re-growth of new cartilage tissue.
Prescription Medicine: Alleviating pain and inflammation caused by dog arthritis can be done by using prescription medicine as they provide relief almost immediately after they are administered. Nonetheless, it is important for dog owners to have a detailed discussion with their vet regarding the benefits and side effects of using a certain prescription drug.
The following are prescription medications commonly used in the treatment of dog arthritis:
• NSAIDs or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
• tramadol gabapentin
For more information on the matter, please get a copy of my e-book, The Risks of Prescription Medicines in Dog Arthritis.
Submitted by Guest Author: Christopher Durin, Veterinarian & Director of Durin Pty Ltd