Pet Care, Pet Health, Rehabilitation, Veterinarian, Worldwide

Ways to Relieve Your Dog’s Arthritis Pain

reluctance to walk down stairs senior dogs

Unfortunately, as our pets age, arthritis affects their joints. Arthritis is a disease that causes pain and worsens the quality of a dog’s life. Our furry friends can no longer jump onto the bed or run after a ball as nimbly as they used to.

Symptoms of arthritis in dogs

The earlier you notice the symptoms of arthritis, the more successful the treatment will be. Sometimes owners simply do not realize that a particular sign is a symptom. To avoid such mistakes and negligence, we suggest reading the list of possible signs of arthritis.

  • Reduced activity
  • Reluctance to walk or play
  • Falling behind on walks (walking more slowly, reluctance to walk the usual distance, lying down)
  • Stumbling
  • Stiffness in the legs (especially in the mornings) that may improve during the day
  • Difficulty getting up
  • Shifting posture
  • Hesitating before a major movement
  • Limping or lameness in a single limb (during or immediately after exercise)
  • Gait changes such as ‘bunny hopping’
  • Difficulty climbing stairs
  • Difficulty jumping up and/or down (e.g., onto the lounge or car seat)
  • Licking or chewing at joints or feet
  • Yelping when touched
  • Yelping during movement
  • Changes in demeanor (including being withdrawn or aggressive)

These symptoms occur because the cartilage surfaces of dogs’ joints begin to thin and cartilage cells die, and as a result, the joint capsule becomes inflamed.

dog x ray of hip joint caudal view

Your vet may order X rays to determine treatment

There is good news is that we can relieve our pets arthritis pain. In this article, we’ve compiled 10 of the most effective ways to relieve dog arthritis pain.

1. Consult with your Vet

First of all, you should make an appointment with your vet. Only a professional animal doctor will be able to create a treatment program for your dog, taking into account all their individual characteristics. Arthritis cannot be completely cured,. However, your veterinarian can find the most effective method of pain relief for your dog.

2. Hydrotherapy and exercise

Swimming is a useful and easy exercise to keep your dog fit and healthy. Contact a Certified Canine Rehabilitation therapist for help with the amount of exercise your pooch needs. Then you can organize a terrific holiday with a dog and enjoy swimming together.

3. Orthopedic beds, steps, and ramps

Take care of your dog’s comfort and provide a ramp and orthopedic bedding. Make sure that the dog’s bedding is away from cold or damp drafts, as this can be an additional irritant for sore joints.

4. Dietary management 

Your four-legged friend should not overeat. Excess weight puts extra stress on the joints. Your veterinarian may also recommend a special joint diet. This diet provides nutritious meals that reduce inflammation and pain and improve your dog’s mobility. Also, countless joint supplements are available to promote healthy cartilage and joint health. These contain varying combinations of glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, green-lipped mussel, and other chondroprotective substances.

5. Medication

Medication is an instant way to relieve arthritis in dogs. Your veterinarian will help you choose a prescription arthritis medication. There are different types, for example, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or analgesics such as tramadol. Both will be effective for your dog if given the correct dosage.

6. Body massage

A quick and easy helping for dogs with arthritis is massage. A special massage for dogs that stimulates blood flow to atrophied muscles can be performed by certified dog massage therapists. You can also ask them to show you the techniques and try to relieve your pet’s pain yourself. Your dog will feel much better after the first session.

7. Pet insurance

Of course, your dog’s pain is not relieved if you have pet insurance. Protecting your pup with insurance in an emergency if  they have a chronic illness such as arthritis. There are many types of insurance that include useful services. For instance, a 24/7 chat with a certified veterinarian where you can ask any question and ask for help. You can read reviews and choose the most suitable one for yourself.

8. Adequan injections

Miraculous injections Adequan (polysulfated glycosaminoglycan, or PSGAG) provides the body with the cartilage building blocks necessary to repair its own tissues. It helps with inflammation and increases joint lubrication.

9. Therapeutic laser treatment

One of the most modern methods of treatment is a class IV therapeutic laser. A low-level light energy improves arthritic conditions in dogs. The treatment stimulates blood flow to tissues, decreases inflammation, and increases muscle relaxation, which promotes faster healing and reduced pain to targeted areas. The advantage of this treatment is that it is non-invasive and has no side effects.

10. Acupuncture and Eastern medicine

In recent years, acupuncture has gained popularity as an effective way to relieve arthritis pain in dogs. This alternative treatment method helps dogs feel more comfortable and mobile. Sometimes Chinese herbs are also prescribed to support the results of acupuncture.

To summarize, it is always sad when your dog is sick. However, as loving parents, we must be able to cope with difficulties and make our pets’ lives comfortable. By testing different arthritis treatments and taking care of our dogs, we can make their lives healthy and happy.

Please consult with your vet before administering any treatment or medication.


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