Treatment for Arthritis in Dogs: A Helpful Guide
Cartilage is a slippery tissue in healthy joints. These tissues act as a cushion between bones within the joints. When dogs develop arthritis or osteoarthritis (OA), these cartilages typically break down and can cause swelling and pain. Because these are progressive joint disorders, the problems may worsen and lead to the formation of bone spurs or further joint damage.
Common Symptoms of Arthritis in Dogs
Below is a short list of symptoms to look out for:
- Sudden behavioral changes, e.g., reluctant or hesitant to climb stairs and play.
- Sore or swollen joints that are painful to the touch.
- Experience trouble with sitting and/or standing due to stiffness.
- Limping on front or hind legs, i.e., favoring a one or more limbs.
If your pet dog exhibits any of these symptoms for over a week, it is recommended that you consult with a veterinarian and conduct an arthritis evaluation. Physical examination and diagnostic tests, e.g., X-rays, can help accurately diagnose arthritis. In addition, these procedures allow vets to assess your dog’s medical history and determine if there are any previous injuries or genetic predispositions that led to joint disease.
Risk Factors of Dog Arthritis
- Age: Pet parents have the impression that only elderly dogs develop arthritis. While most dogs above the age of 8 develop these joint disorders, some dogs that are as early as the age of one year may also be diagnosed with arthritis.
- Breed: American Cocker Spaniel, Bernese Mountain Dog, Dalmatian, Old English Sheep Dog, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, German Shepherd, Great Dane, Labrador Retriever, Rottweiler, mixed breeds, and more. Small to medium-sized canines, however, can also have arthritis but with subtler signs.
- Health History: Does your dog have ligament injuries, knee problems, or hip dysplasia? Did your beloved canine get into an accident in the past and needed joint surgery? These health history issues may contribute to dog arthritis.
- Weight: The more dogs weigh, the more stress is being placed on their joints. In order to minimize stress on your pet's joints, it is important to know the breed's optimal weight.
Existing Dog Arthritis Treatment Options
Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) like Deramaxx, Metacam, Rimadyl, and Etogesic have been designed specifically for pain relief in dogs. These canine NSAIDs, however, may cause side effects such as gastrointestinal upset, or in some cases, kidney or liver dysfunction. Most veterinarians prescribe NSAIDs as they are considered to be safer on older dogs' kidneys. If a dog's arthritis is severe and/or does not respond to other forms of treatment, pain-relieving medications such as gabapentin, amantadine, or tramadol are prescribed by veterinarians.
Consider the Use of Natural Dog Hip and Joint Care Supplements
Pet parents can also support their dogs’ hip and joint health by adding nutritional supplements to their diets. Today, the most commonly used ingredients in dog joint supplements are glucosamine, chondroitin, organic turmeric, and green-lipped mussel. However, Barx Nutrition's Premium Hip & Joint Care also uses hyaluronic acid and a clinically tested human-grade ingredient called TendoGuard™ Collagen Blend. Our high-quality supplements are safe and work well with other forms of arthritis treatment. Most importantly, all our products are manufactured in a U.S. based GMP certified, FDA-approved facility for safety and quality assurance.
If you have any questions about our natural dog hip and joint care supplements, feel free to contact us today.
Disclaimer: There are currently no dog nutritional supplements on the market that can correct structural damage to canine joints.