Arthritis in Dogs
Osteoarthritis (OA), or arthritis, is a joint disease that affects people as well as dogs. Arthritis in dogs can be as painful for our fur-babies as it is for us. In healthy joints, a slippery tissue called cartilage cushions the ends of the bones in the joints. With OA, cartilage breaks down, causing pain and swelling. As OA gets worse, bone spurs can form, causing more pain and joint damage.
Some think the key symptom of dog arthritis is limping, but dogs are pretty good at hiding pain and may never limp. For some dogs, when this happens, your dog may simply become less active or show signs of stiffness when getting up. There may be visible signs of arthritis in your dog's legs. However, OA can be difficult to recognize and your dog may not show any signs of OA.
Osteoarthritis can be difficult to recognize and your dog may not show any signs. That’s why it’s important to talk to your veterinarian today about keeping your dog active and youthful. The earlier you start the better chance you have of bringing out the puppy inside him.
5 Risk Factors for Arthritis
Breed: Large dog breeds like Labs, Retrievers and Shepherds are more likely to develop OA at a young age. Small to medium-sized dogs can have OA as well but it may not be as prevalent.
Age: Many think arthritis in older dogs is part of aging. While 80% of dogs will show signs of OA by age 8, some dogs show signs as early as the age of one year. And just like in humans, there are ways to help relieve the symptoms if your dog has arthritis.
Weight: It’s important to know the optimal weight for your dog’s breed. Try to keep him close to that weight to minimize stress on his joints. The more they weigh, the harder it is on your dog's mobility.
Health History: Consider if your dog has joint issues such as hip dysplasia in dogs, knee problems or ligament injuries. If there has been an accident with your dog or if there has been a joint surgery. These are all health history issues that may contribute to arthritis in your dog.
Mobility: Do you see your dog doing less? Do they have problems climbing stairs, or jumping up where they once jumped before? Do you need to help your dog get in the car? It may not be aging that is causing them to do less. It may be the painful signs of arthritis taking over. Other Signs of Arthritic Pain
How to Help a Dog With Arthritis
Just as arthritis in painful for people, it is for dogs too. Unfortunately, dogs can’t talk to tell us if they are in pain. Be sure to pay attention to visible signs of slow movement and arthritis in your dog's legs, arthritis in dog's knee and especially the potential of arthritis in the back or hind legs. All you can do is view their behavior.
Based on the risk factors listed above, you can determine if your dog might be a risk.
1. Joint Supplements: Combat the signs of arthritis with a joint supplement created by Parnell, Glyde™ Mobility Chews. Glyde promotes joint health and cartilage development to help keep dogs and cats active and youthful, longer. Improvement can be seen in most dogs with regular dosage.
2. Activity: Of course, make sure your dog is still active to help their joints work better. This includes regular walking and playing with your dog. A great opportunity to go to the dog park!
3. Healthy Weight: Keep the weight down for your dog. The heavier the dog, the more pressure on their joints. Every bit helps to make them more comfortable.
4. Massage Therapy: Works just as well for a dog as it does for humans. You can do this yourself.
5. Comfort: Provide more cushion for your pets. This includes a fluffy bed, rugs on the floor to lie on and more. If they are on a hardwood floor most days, that will begin to feel less comfortable.
Other Ways to Help an Arthritic Dog
The bottom line is – what makes you more comfortable if your joints were aching? Most likely you would be taking some sort of supplement and trying to stay active with a good diet and exercise. You can do the same for your dog.
We know: our dogs are not just like family – they ARE family!