Arthritis in Older Dogs

arthritis in older dogsArthritis in older dogs is a common disease. It is a disease that impacts the joints and generally hinders movement in your dog. It can be quite painful and can definitely change your dog’s ability to get around the way he is used to.  Arthritis can be caused by various things such as infection, injury, as well as imbalances in the immune system. If you have an older dog, you must be diligent about his health. Arthritis hits dogs and humans alike as those birthdays add up! You need to be aware of the arthritis symptoms in dogs, so here are the facts!

Symptoms, Treatment, Prevention of Arthritis in Older Dogs

Symptoms of arthritis in older dogs:

To recognize if your dog is suffering from this arthritis, carefully observe his movements while walking, running and playing. If you notice that he is limping or walking slowly, chances are arthritis just might be taking its toll. You can also observe arthritis in your dog’s way of standing up. If your dog has this disease, ordinarily he will get up freely, but become stiff. Arthritis will make your dog want to sit and sleep regularly but many dogs will push themselves to the point of injury. Arthritis may decrease your dog’s desire to eat, go outside to go to the bathroom and he may even display a loss of interest in other activities. Apart from stiffness after exercise or rest, limited exercise, muscle atrophy, inflammation of the joints, difficulty in getting up, walking, or jumping, you may also hear a cracking sound in the joint. Ouch! These symptoms may be difficult to observe because the disease progresses slowly. A sudden onset of arthritis is not likely to be noted.

Treatment of arthritis in older dogs:

There are some ways you can manage arthritis in your dog and make him more comfortable.

  • Maintaining an optimal body weight in your dog will put less pressure on his joints and may reduce or negate all symptoms in your dog.
  • Engaging your dog in regular, moderate exercise helps to keep him agile and mobile as well as prevent joint alkalosis.
  • Feed your dog the suggested amount of food to help control weight. Just like people, dogs require different dietary needs according to weight, breed and stage of life.
  • Acupuncture is not only for people. It is painless treatment and has shown some success in relieving many ailments in animals, specifically pain syndromes.
  • Anti-inflammatory prescription drugs can also be used to treat arthritis in dogs.

Prevention of arthritis in older dogs:

You can help your dog by delaying the onset of arthritis and you may even be able to prevent it altogether. Regularly scheduled, mild or moderate exercise and a high quality diet along with supplements can help delay aging, control body weight and keep muscle and skeletal system in good shape. You may ask your veterinarian to recommend a program of exercises and a proper diet for your dog.



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