Keeping your pet happy and healthy is an important part of being a responsible pet owner. Diseases and sickness can affect our pets as they age, causing them pain and misery as symptoms persist and increase over time. A common health problem being seen by veterinarians is arthritis in dogs. But there are often no early warning signs because dogs are more likely to stay active and attempt to ignore their aches for as long as possible before showing signs that they are in pain. This can delay treatment and cause them to suffer more. Some breeds are more susceptible to arthritis than others. Therefore, knowing your pet’s disposition to diseases will provide you with an understanding about what to look out for.
Similar to humans, most of the treatments for pets with arthritis are focused on reducing inflammation, rather than correcting structural damage to the joints, as this cannot be achieved through any supplement. Similar to humans, taking preventative supplements can assist the joints in maintaining lubrication, to slow down deterioration, while other human treatments have been found to be effective in reducing pain. While there are some human arthritis treatments being used for pets, they do have a different tolerance from that of humans, so it is important to work with a veterinarian to determine the correct treatment procedure for your pet.
Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate have been proven to be effective supplements to assist with slowing down joint deterioration. Glucosamine is available as chewable tablets, liquid, capsules and granules that can be sprinkled on food. The severity of the arthritis will determine how high the dosage will be. Using human versions of these supplements can often be ineffective, as tests have proven that they do not contain the levels required for dogs, so it is important to see your vet to get supplements that will work.
Other nutritional supplements that have been effective for treating pets as well as humans are those with fatty acids that reduce inflammation. Most pet foods often have some fatty acids in their ingredients in low levels, but when treating your pet for arthritis, an extra supplement will help as well as assisting with allergic skin diseases and kidney issues.
Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs are the treatment that is used for both dogs and humans for treating arthritis. Pet brands for these drugs include Rimadyl, Deramaxx, Etogesic and Zubrin, to name a few. These decrease pain, fever and inflammation, depending on the dose, to keep the pet as comfortable as possible and allow it to go about its daily activities.
Acupuncture and Massage
Other less orthodox treatments have been found to be very effective in treating diseases such as arthritis in pets. Acupuncture has proven to be an extremely effective treatment in some cases, with treatments required until the severity of symptoms dissipates. Massage and heat pads can also be an effective treatment for reducing pain and swelling of the problem areas.