As the age of your dog increases the space between the bones starts reducing as cartilage deteriorates which causes bones to rub against each other causing intolerable pain and discomfort in your dog’s joints. With the cartilage thinning excessive joint fluids are released from the joint capsule which causes inflammation in joints as well. This condition is regarded as Arthritis in dogs. Another reason of your dog suffering from arthritis is chronic inflammation which is caused when the immune system of your dog gets weak, and it starts discarding proteins that further promotes secretion of more toxic proteins that pose damage to the joints.
Arthritis impacts overall activity level of your dog. Due to stoic nature of the dog, I never noticed that my female dog Lilly was suffering from arthritis even when she was getting reluctant to move and getting slow while our jogging sessions, the seconds changed into minutes. However, once she used to go for outdoor activities like Ferrari on its last lap.
Symptoms of Arthritis
Dogs do not show signs of discomfort early. Therefore, it is hard to notice that they are suffering from some disease especially arthritis. The symptoms of arthritis depend upon on how far the disease has progressed. Stiffness in bones, difficulty in standing or lying down or not taking part in physical activity are some common signs that can be noticed in early stages of arthritis. However, as the disease gets severe, the dog starts limping, or spot lameness can be witnessed in one or both hind legs of your dog. You may also witness behavioral changes in your dog such as getting easily annoyed, growling excessive licking or attempting to bite.
Keep Your Dog’s Gut Healthy
Gut flora is gastrointestinal tract which helps to encourage digestive system and absorption of nutrients. Your dog’s gut lining has a small hole that allows proteins and nutrients pass through it that are required by your body to stay healthy. When your dog is suffering from arthritis, the gut lining stretches, making the holes bigger and in return, your dog’s gut lining is not able to prevent toxins and undigested bugs particles from entering the body which affects its immune system. Poor diet is the main reason behind arthritis because it may cause harm to your dog’s gut. Processed grain foods containing wheat, soy, and abundance of preservatives may cause grave problems to the gut lining. In addition to this, asteroids, prebiotics, and antibiotic treatment are another cause of damaged gut because they cause an imbalance between good bacteria and bad bacteria. Therefore, it is essential to take some primary measures to keep your dog’s gut healthy so that it will not affect your dog’s immune system and refrain him from catching further health issues. Try to change your dog’s diet, feed him on grain free, GMO’s free, filled with natural extracted antioxidants and foods loaded with probiotics to provide support to the healthy digestive system. The taste of wild has a wide range of grain free dog foods.
Dogs love cuddling. Similarly, they love to be massaged too, and this may also help you to relieve your dog’s joints pain. Ask your different vet techniques for massaging and choose the one which suits your dog. Massaging your dog decreases joint deterioration and helps in relieving muscular tension. Start massaging with light strokes and do not apply direct pressure on painful joints instead massage in a circular motion around the joints. If you find any inflamed area, it is recommended to wrap it with a cold towel but if the swelling remains for a longer period visit your vet. (See also: 13 Signs Your Dog Truly Loves You)
If your dog is suffering from arthritis, you must make few changes around your house to help your furry companion. Provide him with well-padded comfortable bedding. The carpeted floor may help him walk easily without developing pressure on bones and joints. You should also mount sloped ramp on the stairs, so he does not have to take big steps to climb the doorsteps. Make it easy for him to jump in the car or on sofa seat by placing ramp.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
NSAIDs are another option that you have to help your dog fight against arthritis and promote a dramatic improvement in mobility. It reduces production of prostaglandins which further reduces inflammation in joints. But these medications can have potential side-effects like gastrointestinal upset or even liver or kidney dysfunction in rare cases. So always use them only after prescribed by the vet.
About The Author:
Wendy is a self-employed beauty therapist, mother of two; life-long pet parent and lover of dogs who somehow manages to squeeze in the time to satisfy another of her loves – writing. Wendy is the founder, main contributor to and editor of TotallyGoldens.com