Arthritis can be just as uncomfortable for dogs as it is for humans. There are, however, ways to manage the condition. In today's post, our Pflugerville vets detail what arthritis in dogs is and how it can be treated.
What is arthritis in dogs?
For many dogs, arthritis is an inflammatory disease of the joints that results in pain, stiffness, and discomfort. In dogs with arthritis, the cartilage in a joint (hip, elbow, etc.) deteriorates or changes, making the bones rub against one another. The increased friction causes new bone to grow around the joint, stiffening it and making movement more challenging.
What causes arthritis in dogs?
Dogs with arthritis typically get it as they age, but if there are issues with the development of the bones and joints, it can occur early in life. The majority of cases are brought on by abnormal rubbing inside the joint, which can be brought on by trauma-related damage, abnormal cartilage development, ligament damage, or joint instability.
What are the symptoms of arthritis in dogs?
The following are some of the most common signs of arthritis in dogs:
- Reluctance to exercise
- Lameness or stiffness (especially after long periods of rest)
- Signs get worse when it's cold or damp
- Licking at joint (signs of saliva staining)
- Your dog seems to be moving slower than normal.
- Your dog being grumpy
How do vets diagnose arthritis in dogs?
Your vet may suggest diagnostic tests, like x-rays, to confirm and find the changes caused by arthritis. In some cases, blood tests may be needed to rule out any health problems that could be linked to arthritis.
How is arthritis in dogs treated?
Should your veterinarian diagnose your dog with arthritis, it's possible that they will require treatment multiple times in their lifetime. How long a treatment takes to give your dog the best long-term and short-term outcome varies greatly, as do the medications used. Among the fixes are:
Cold Laser Therapy
Cold laser therapy uses a low-intensity laser or light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to help relieve pain, stimulate and improve cell function, and speed up healing. Several conditions, like muscle and joint pain, arthritis symptoms, and muscle spasms, have been shown to get better with laser therapy.
The purpose of cartilage protectors is to lessen excruciating inflammation, aid in the healing of joint structures, and prevent cartilage damage. Among them are pentosan polysulfate, polysulfated glycosaminoglycans, and hyaluronic acid.
Maintaining a healthy weight and making sure the dog gets enough exercise are the best ways to treat arthritis in dogs, as it is often worse in overweight and unfit animals. By doing this, you can lessen the strain on your joints and ensure that the muscles surrounding them are as fit and flexible as possible.
These can often be given as treats along with any medicines your vet has given you.
There are always new drugs being made and put on the market, so it's important to know what's going on in this field of medicine.
Is there a cure for arthritis?
Regretfully, no. Giving the appropriate medications to many pets over time can, however, relieve their pain. Due to the wide range of effects arthritis can have on dogs, many of them can manage it effectively with little assistance from a veterinarian. However, some patients require medical attention. These could be anything from straightforward lifestyle adjustments to intricate surgery.