My dog has arthritis, so what can I do for him to help relieve the pain from his sore and stiff joints? Can I give him over-the-counter drugs? Should I stop taking him for walks? You have lots of questions – we have lots of answers …
Arthritis is a general term for abnormal changes in a joint and it is common in dogs, especially if they are aging and over weight. Dogs that are over weight have more trouble with arthritis because it affects their joints. With the extra weight, more pressure is placed on the already sore and stiff joints, thus causing further pain.
To help find a drug treatment that will help ease your dogs pain for arthritis, talk to your Veterinarian and follow his advise. He may prescribe an over-the-counter drug that may help decrease the dogs pain and its progression. Never give your dog any medication that is meant for a human without first checking with you Veterinarian. Certain medications can be toxic to dogs. Especially medications such as: acetaminophen and ibuprofen. Let your Veterinarian help you make the correct and safest choice on what to give your dog.
Some of the signs of arthritis in dogs
Dogs that seem to have stiff or sore joints
Not wanting to play as much
Trouble sitting or standing
Not wanting to jump up on you
Having trouble climbing stairs
Favoring a limb
If you dog starts to show these symptoms, it's time to take him to the Veterinarian for a check up. The Veterinarian might also want X-rays for a better diagnosis. This way if the dog has arthritis, you can start treating him right away.
The Veterinarian will want you to put your dog on a healthy diet rich in proteins, fiber and minerals and an exercise program that is designed for his condition at that time. By having regular check ups, your veterinarian can adjust the exercise program and medications as needed.
– Over-the-counter pills or food that contain either or both, glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate supplements, will reduce the swelling and pain from the arthritis.
– Omega fatty acids in the dogs diet can help alleviate the inflammation and discomfort of an arthritic dog. Flax and flax oil are good sources of Omega 3. Cold-pressed flax oil is another excellent choice, but should be kept in the refrigerator because it has a short shelf life.
– Oils such as cod liver oil derived from cold-water fish are also an excellent source of Omega 3.
– Vitamin E has help in some cases, as it is said to have moderate anti-inflammatory properties. What I've been told by my Veterinarian is 2000IU a day for dogs over 50 lbs. Although the veterinarian would start dogs out on a lower dose at first and build the dose up over time. Always ask your Veterinarian on how much is appropriate for your dog.
– I found that a product called Arthramine works well for my 12 year old. Arthramine is for healthy joints and bones. It contains: Glucosamine HCI – Vitamin C – Manganese – Omega-3 fatty acids. This can be bought over-the-counter at pet stores; but is much cheaper when bought in a mail-order catalog, such as: Omaha Vaccine Company.
Food to avoid
Try to avoid food that contains grains, which are said to cause inflammation. Some veterinarians think this might aggravate the pain of arthritis even more.
Ways to help relieve the pain of arthritis
* Try giving your dog a massage to help relieve the sore, stiff muscles and joints.
* Keep him warm and off cold or damp surfaces. Try placing blankets, or extra rugs for him to lie on.
* Keep his weight under control so there is less stress to his joints.
* Give him some exercise, in moderation of course. It's better to let him walk outside with you everyday, than to take him on a long walk one day and forget about him for the next several days.
Remember, dogs do better if they know that someone cares about them. Give them lots of love and attention.