Canine osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease It affects approximately 20% of dogs. It is more common in adult or elderly dogs, and generally their symptoms tend to get worse with age. It is a serious problem that can cause a significant loss of the quality of life of our pet. In addition, being a degenerative disease It has no cure, So the treatments will be aimed at reducing the progress of the disease and alleviating the pain.
What is osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is a degeneration of joint components It can affect one or more joints. When an animal suffers from this disease, deterioration of the cartilage, synovial membrane and bone of the affected joint occurs.
The cartilage and synovial membrane of the joints have a basic function for mobility, as They are responsible for avoiding contact between bones. When these structures are injured, the bones begin to rub against each other, causing intense pain and difficulty moving.
It is considered an important disease, since it has no cure and causes a significant loss of quality of life if no treatment is applied.
The causes of osteoarthritis are very diverse. Many of them are similar to the causes of arthritis, because often the first thing that occurs is an inflammation of the joint that can later lead to the deterioration of it.
The trauma, bone fractures and ligament tears or strains They can cause osteoarthritis if they do not heal properly. Before these injuries it is very important to follow the advice of the veterinarian to avoid the appearance of arthrtis or osteoarthritis.
On the other hand, osteoarthritis may be due to infections of the joint. These can be caused by bacteria, fungi or viruses. Also some parasites such as leishmania that can lead to osteoarthritis.
Finally we must take into account that there are several factors that although on their own do not cause osteoarthritis can predispose at the onset of the disease:
- Age: A med> Symptoms of osteoarthritis
The most common symptoms of osteoarthritis are:
- Limp: It is the most common symptom and the first one that dog owners usually observe. We can see from a slight discomfort when supporting the leg to serious difficulties to walk. Morning lameness usually occurs, the dog has more pain after long resting periods, but lameness disappears or is reduced when the animal has been moving for a while. You have to look closely to see in which extrem> Osteoarthritis remedies
Osteoarthritis is a problem for which currently there is no cure. Therefore the treatment is always aimed at alleviate pain and reduce disease progress.
Before establishing any treatment we must go to the vet to make the diagnosis of the illness. To do this, he will perform an examination of the joints in search of pain or mobility problems. You can also do radiographs of the affected area and blood tests to rule out infectious problems or parasitosis such as leishmania.
The treatment may consist of anti-inflammatory and analgesic To reduce the pain. These drugs always have to be prescribed by the veterinarian, we should not self-medicate our pet without consulting with a professional. Can also be used chondroprotectors to strengthen the health of the joints.
We have to take care of our best friend's diet. If you are obese or overweight, achieve your ideal weight It will reduce joint loading and in parallel reduce symptoms. If our dog has a normal weight we will also have to control his diet, since osteoarthritis causes a reduction in exercise and therefore his weight can increase if we do not watch.
Physical therapy and moderate exercise
The positive effects of the veterinary physiotherapy. There is a wide variety of exercises that can reduce the discomfort of our pet. In addition massages can improve your well-being. Some hospitals offer these services, and we can even find clinics specialized in physiotherapy and rehabilitation of domestic animals.
In the following video you can see several canine physiotherapy exercises for dogs with osteoarthritis:
Exercise is very important, and it will be good for the dog whenever it is moderate and adapted to your possibilities. Animals with osteoarthritis tend to reduce their activity, and this leads to a loss of muscle mass and overall health. By encouraging the movement of our pet we will keep the muscle and avoid being overweight.
The swimming It is the most recommended exercise for animals with osteoarthritis, since in the water the joints carry much less weight. If we can find a safe place without water currents, this activity can be very beneficial for our pet. When swimming the joints have to bear less weight and therefore the pain is reduced.
Like people, Dogs with osteoarthritis are worse when it is cold and humidity is high. If our dog suffers from this disease we can reduce his symptoms by letting him sleep inside the house and providing him with a warm, warm and dry place to rest. Orthopedic beds are very suitable for animals with osteoarthritis. We can also protect it during the walk with waterproof coats.
exist splints and joint supports which reduce the weight load on the affected joint. They also keep the limb in a correct position and reduce pain. There is a wide variety of models, and who can best advise us to choose the most suitable is a canine veterinarian or physiotherapist.
Finally, in the most serious cases, you can resort to surgical treatments and the use of prostheses.
10 easy tips you can try at home to help your dog cope with this painful disorder.
When dogs age, there are a variety of ailments that can affect their health. One of the most common aging problems that dogs have is arthritis. Here are some tips that can help your canine partner agree with this painful condition.
1. lose some weight . You might think that having an overweight dog is very good, but in reality it is very harmful to your physical well-being. Being overweight can put a lot of extra tension on the joints, and trimming excess fat in your dog is one of the best ways to help relieve arthritic pain. Even if your dog is at a healthy weight, trimming excess weight will help your dog feel more comfortable and may relieve arthritis pain a bit.
2. Use a heat pad in the affected areas . Putting a heat pad over your dog's aching joints can help reduce pain and swelling.
3. glucosamine supplements : If the same pills that athletes and runners use, it can also help your dog. Many people start giving tablets of their youngest glucosamine dog to help prevent arthritis, but it's not just about prevention, but it can also help decrease arthritis pain as well. It is also good to help slow down further deterioration. Make sure the tablets also contain chondroitin sulfate and MSM, which work in conjunction with glucosamine.
4. Give your dog some Omega 3 . Omega 3 fatty acids are excellent for helping dogs with arthritis. If you plan to buy omega 3 capsules make sure your dog is not allergic to any food before administering the pills. For example, many of the supplements contain fish oil, and some dogs are allergic to fish. If you are not interested in giving your dog another supplement, a wide variety of foods that contain omega 3 fatty acids and you can easily mix some of these in your pet's diet.
5. Give your dog a massage . Muscles and joints will really benefit from a good massage. This will help your dog by reducing pain and relaxation. This can be especially useful when the first dog gets up in the morning and before and after any exercise.
7. Do some exercise . Regardless of age, a dog needs exercise every day. This might feel a bit contradictory, many people assume that dogs with arthritis should not be getting any exercise, but in fact it is the opposite. Moving can help circulation flow and help muscle dog mass and flexibility. Just make sure that if your dog has arthritis, the level and intensity of training is reduced. It is important that dogs with arthritis participate in exercise that is not stressful for the joints. Instead of going for a day walk: try to go for short walks several times a day. If you have access to a lake or pool that allows dogs, you should take advantage of this. Water is a great way for a dog to need exercise and be in the water that allows them to do the exercise they need when taking stress outside the arthritic areas.
8. Make sure the stairs are safe . Remember that dogs with arthritis suffer from reduced mobility. It could mean that they will not be able to climb stairs as easily as they did before. To protect yourself from a fall where you could be seriously injured, try installing grab mats on the stairs or a ramp. Make sure they are supervised when possible to avoid further damage.
9. Cut your dog's nails: To help prevent and reduce arthritis pain, make sure your dog's nails do not grow too much. Dogs walk on their nails and when they are too long, it forces their paws to rest at a strange angle, which causes joint stress. If your dog has arthritis since it may not be as active as it used to be, and you will have to cut your nails more often. When dogs are active the nails are presented below walking and less active dogs need their nails trimmed more frequently.
10. Vitamin C: Veterinarian Richard H. Pitcairn, author of the Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats, recommends administering a daily dose of vitamin C for your dog. Depending on the size of your dog, you can give anywhere between 500 and 2,000 milligrams of vitamin C.
What are pain relievers?
Surely right now in the bathroom kit or somewhere in the house, there is a tablet with some pain reliever for humans. We know that they are over-the-counter in pharmacies and that when something hurts it is the first thing we turn to. But why do we want to quickly suppress pain without thinking of where it comes from? Have you ever thought about what drug we are talking about?
Pain relievers are medications whose main function is relieve or eliminate pain. It fights joint, muscle and even pain pains such as headaches in humans suffering from influenza.
There are different types of analgesic medications:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): They are the best known and used, they act by inhibiting enzymes that help the production of prostaglandins (pain-mediating substances). The famous in dogs are meloxicam, carprofen and ketoprofen, among others and different trademarks.
- Major opiates: which in turn are divided into natural (opioid) and artificial (opioid). They are narcotic substances that act at the level of receptors of the neurons of the nervous system mimicking the analgesic effect of endogenous opiates. To make it clearer: they produce an effect similar to that of morphine, its use is very limited since it can bring a series of secondary complications. We have Fentanyl and Butorphanol as stars, used for surgical interventions or very intense pain.
- Adjuvant drugs: in association with any of the above they manage to potentiate the action, so that in themselves they are not analgesic. We highlight corticosteroids and anticonvulsants.
Let's not forget that none of them can be administered to our animal without a previous visit To veterinary who will evaluate the conditions of the pain, which dose will be adequate and the treatment to face. But, in my opinion as a veterinarian, that the owners attend with a list of the medicine cabinet they have at home, usually helps and that will be more economical to visit.
Plants to soothe the pain
Earlier I wrote about natural chondroprotectors for dogs, which I encourage you to read, not because it is mine too, but because there are more options than we will touch here.
What I am going to detail below is a list of plants or herbs that nature brings to relieve pain. I would like to eradicate a little the belief that if our dog hurts something we should resort to a drug. It is not so difficult to give our dog these alternatives, they are also analgesic and most do not have adverse effects.
- Hypericum: plant with analgesic and sedative effect. From it the homeopathic medicine is obtained Hypericum, a good way to administer to our pet the doses (either in drops or globules). Another way to use it is to make a poultice to relieve certain areas in particular and can be very relieving. We can do it in a latex glove where we place white clay with water with a few drops of the oil of this plant and we can apply it several times a day, before heating it in a microwave. Just do not use it as a toy because we will have to clean the whole house later.
- Mint: not only is it very easy to get, but it is also known>
This article is purely informative, at ExpertAnimal.com we have no power to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any kind of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian in case he presents any type of condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to Pain relievers for dogs with arthritis, we recommend you go to our Other health problems section.
The massages are very advisable so that the dog can cope better with the disease. But you have to do them well, following the veterinarian's instructions because otherwise we could harm you.
So, your dear hairy can continue to lead a happy life 🙂.