The availability of pain relievers, medications and physical therapy techniques comprising arthritis in dogs treatment plans means your pet does not have to suffer with the stiffness, inflammation and swelling associated with arthritis. Because a dog’s physiology resembles human physiology, canines are prone to many of the same medical problems we experience as a result of aging, being overweight or carrying a genetic disorder that makes us vulnerable to certain diseases.
The most common type of arthritis affecting dogs (as well as humans) is osteoarthritis, a condition associated with simple joint wear and tear or an injury that damages the cartilage responsible for preventing bone erosion. When cartilage between joints deteriorates, bones begin to rub against each other, causing inflammation, swelling and pain. Weight-bearing joints are frequently impaired by osteoarthritis—spine, back, pelvis and knees—and tends to target older dogs, especially if the dog is obese and leads a sedentary lifestyle.
Dogs can also experience rheumatoid arthritis, a joint disease resulting from a compromised immune system that does not respond properly to the presence of proteins. Excessive amounts of antibodies and proteins accumulate in a dog’s joints and produce symptoms similar to arthritis such as difficulty walking or arising from a sitting/laying position and joint swelling. In addition, dogs affected by RA may suffer mild fevers, partial lameness and lack of appetite.
If you notice your dog favoring one of his limbs, sleeping more than usual, gaining or losing weight, developing behavior issues and hesitating to run or jump, you may need to start giving him medications as part of an arthritis in dogs treatment.
If the veterinarian diagnoses your dog with arthritis, he may prescribe one of the following medications:
Another type of innovative arthritis in dogs treatment recently implemented but not yet widely available is stem cell therapy, in which new connective tissue cells are integrated into a dog’s arthritic joints to repair erosion of cartilage and possibly eliminate the need for medication.
Owners can help reduce the chance of their dog from developing arthritis by making sure the dog gets sufficient exercise, eats a balanced diet of high-quality dog food containing mostly meat and not cereals and maintains a weight healthy for his or her breed. Although the effectiveness of arthritis in dogs treatment medications is cogent, owners may be able to prevent putting their dog on arthritis medication by following these simple tips that contribute to overall, good dog health.