Arthritis means ’inflammation of the joints’ and is common among dogs too just as it is in humans. You can easily tell when a dog is suffering from the joint pain disease from certain dog arthritis signs such as limping, pain, discomfort, limping, and stiffness, which often lead to decreased movement and activity.
A dog’s joint bone surfaces are normally covered with a thin layer of very smooth cartilage, lubricated with a small amount of joint fluid that allows the two surfaces to glide freely over one another with minimum friction. Due to factors such as infection, injury, and old age, the cartilage within the joint undergoes damage.
As a result of this increased friction, new bone starts to form around the joint, making the joint stiffer, which limits its movement even more. With time, this leads to a painful joint condition known as arthritis.
Causes of Arthritis
Arthritis is a problem that is mostly seen in older dogs, but it can start developing from an early age following problems with bone and joint development. It may affect one or any number of your dog’s joints.
In most cases, it develops as a result of abnormal rubbing within the joint caused by joint instability (e.g. after ligament damage), or abnormal cartilage development, or damage caused by trauma (e.g. fractures). Signs of arthritis can often vary throughout the animal’s life and result in early development and results seen in older age.
Diagnosis of Dog Arthritis
As soon as you suspect that your dog is suffering from arthritis, it’s only prudent to take him to the vet for a checkup. They can do an examination and tell which joints are affected by any pain or discomfort. For a proper investigation, they can suggest further tests like x-rays, which will help confirm and locate arthritis. In rare cases, the vet may recommend a blood sample to rule out any medical conditions.
Remedies of Arthritis
With so many remedies available, it is important that the chosen treatment matches the cause. Just like in humans, Arthritis pain is worse in overweight and unfit dogs. Despite the vet’s advice, the most important therapy is the combination of weight control and exercise management. This helps to minimize the load on the joints while maximizing the range of movement and improving the fitness of the muscles around those joints.
Pain relief is vital and the most common veterinary painkillers used are called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs but let us look into the natural remedies for treating arthritis in dogs:
- Essential Oils
There are some oils that have been suggested for dogs and seem to be effective in providing relief from pain and inflammation associated with arthritis, especially OA. A dog’s sense of smell is 40 times stronger than a human’s, which makes it important to go for the milder oils. Essential oils should never be ingested and it is important to discuss their use with the vet since some essential oils are not recommended to pregnant women, kids, and individuals with certain respiratory problems.
- Bone Broth
Rich in phosphorus, magnesium and calcium, it is used to promote healthy joints, skin, and hair. Even in humans, bone soup has been believed to be some kind of remedy over the years. It is, therefore, advisable to try supplementing their dog’s diets with homemade bone broth. It is said to contain high amounts of natural glucosamine and healthy fatty acids. Despite treatment, bone broth also moistens dry food.
- Prescription Diet
In the recent past, diets rich in glucosamine, chondroitin, and increased levels of omega 3 fatty acids have been introduced in the market. Some of these prescription-only foods are formulated to specifically target joint problems in dogs. They are balanced calorically and have been shown to be helpful in easing arthritis pain and improving mobility in dogs.
- Weight Loss
Obesity in pets is as dangerous as it is in humans and can result in health issues like diabetes and joint problems. The huge weight can be painful especially on the joints. Ensuring your pooch loses a few pounds can make a major difference as far as dog arthritis pain is concerned. For this, you can visit the vet where you will be in a position to discuss the nutritional needs and weight loss journey for your dog.
Often harvested from shellfish, this natural ingredient is one of the most popular in arthritis supplements for both dogs and humans. It is known to be helpful in promoting the healing of damaged cartilage, which is a common occurrence in arthritic joints. Not much research has been done about this remedy but the evidence of its effectiveness is impressive! Its side effects are rare but before giving any remedy to your dog, it is essential to seek advice from your vet.
Hydro means water. As the name suggests, this is water treatment. A good example is the use of the pet underwater treadmill, which is increasingly gaining popularity in the treatment of joint problems and surgical recovery. It works through a simple principle, where water increases buoyancy, reducing pressure on the affected joints, which reduces pain to make movement easier. These are the goals of any osteoarthritis treatment and this might just be what the vet will prefer.
We all know the effectiveness of massages in relieving muscle tightness, soreness, tension, and pain. The case is no different in dogs. Massage has been shown to be effective in providing pain relief for affected joints such as the knees, hips, shoulders and the area along the spine.
It turns out that this common natural Chinese treatment works for canine osteoarthritis too. It has become increasingly common and more accessible nowadays in vet centers providing treatment. Relief from arthritis pain and inflammation is achieved by inserting thin needles into certain points in the pet’s body. To get the most out of acupuncture, your pooch may have to take more than just a few sessions since it has been shown that its effects are cumulative. As a matter of fact, recently, a 9-year old pup known as Louis from Birmingham is said to have been completely cured of crippling arthritis, thanks to this remedy.
The above are just the natural methods of treating arthritis in dogs. It is unfortunate that in cases of arthritis, once your dog has been diagnosed and the joints have been damaged, complete cure is rare. In addition to using one or several of the above natural remedies, some of the best supplements for joint pain in dogs, Flexpet being one of them.
With a good supplement such as Flexpet, your four-legged friend can live a happy, active, and pain-free life. The supplement is created from all-natural ingredients into a blend that seeks to improve your dog’s overall joint health by rebuilding cartilage, relieving pain, improving joint lubrication, and increasing joint strength.