Osteoarthritis, also known as a degenerative joint disease (DJD), is a common condition in older dogs. Based on the data collected from 200 veterinarians, the National Library of Medicine (NIH) states that osteoarthritis prevalence in the U.S. is 20% in all dogs over the age of one year.
It’s characterized by the progressive loss of cartilage, which cushions the ends of bones where they meet to form a joint. This loss causes painful friction between bones and makes it difficult for your pet to move around normally.
Here are tips on how you can manage the symptoms of osteoarthritis in dogs
Provide a Comfortable Environment
Providing your dog with the right environment can help reduce the symptoms of osteoarthritis. Make sure your dog has a comfortable place to rest, such as a soft bed or dog-specific orthopedic bed. This will help prevent damage to their joints and keep them happy and healthy.
In addition, ensure that you provide a quiet, low-stress environment for your pet so that they are less likely to get hurt in an accident or from overzealous play.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
A dog’s weight can have an impact on its quality of life. If your pooch is overweight, they’re at risk for developing osteoarthritis and other joint problems. You can help your dog maintain a healthy weight by monitoring their diet and activity level, making sure they get enough exercise, and avoiding overfeeding.
According to News and Events, the best way to assess a pet’s healthy weight is by assessing its Body Condition Score (BCS). BCS is a nine-point scale in which five points is a healthy ideal. For every score higher than five, your pet is roughly 10% overweight. Pet parents can learn to check their pet’s BCS and should do so once a month.
Exercise is important for joint health. It helps dogs feel better, builds muscle strength, and supports the joints, and it can even strengthen muscles around their joints.
However, you’ll need to tailor exercises based on your dog’s needs. If your dog has severe arthritis, try limiting its activity until the symptoms subside or find a way for them to do low-impact activities like swimming or walking on an incline treadmill.
If your dog has mild arthritis but still loves being active outdoors, focus on short walks in areas free from slick surfaces where they’re less likely to slip or fall.
Provide Joint Supplements
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition, but with proper management and care, your dog can live a relatively pain-free life. Several supplements may help to ease some of the symptoms associated with osteoarthritis.
However, it’s important to remember that supplements are not a substitute for medication or physical therapy and should be used in conjunction with other therapies if possible.
If you choose to give your dog supplements, make sure they are prescribed by your veterinarian or purchased from an authorized retailer.
Give Your Dog Quellin
If your dog has osteoarthritis, your vet will likely recommend medications like quellin to relieve pain and inflammation. What is quellin used for in dogs? Quellin is an NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug), and it’s one of the best options out there for treating mild to moderate cases of OA.
These medications are available over-the-counter in pet stores or online, but talk to a vet before beginning treatment if you have any concerns about using these types of drugs on your dog.
Consider Alternative Therapies
If you’re like most pet owners, you probably want to do everything in your power to help your dog feel comfortable and reduce pain. While medication is a good place to start, it’s important to realize that there are other ways of managing the symptoms of osteoarthritis in dogs.
Alternative therapies can be helpful as well, including acupuncture and massage therapy. Even laser therapy has been shown to reduce pain and improve mobility for dogs suffering from osteoarthritis.
According to MBGmovement, cold laser therapy has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Its use has been growing in medicines as a form of alternative or complementary therapy.
Use a Supportive Device
If your dog is having trouble walking or is not able to stand, a supportive device can help with weight distribution, muscle strength, and joint stability.
A cart or wheelchair is helpful for dogs who have difficulty standing but can move around with the help of devices like wheels. A harness can be used if a dog has trouble walking due to arthritis in their limbs or back legs.
Osteoarthritis is a chronic condition that lasts for years and can be managed but never cured. It also means that the recovery process may be slow. Be patient with your dog as you work together with your vet to find the best treatment plan for him or her.
Patience is required when working with dogs who are experiencing pain because they typically don’t like to be touched and are afraid of certain situations like stairs or water.
Osteoarthritis is one of the most common forms of arthritis in dogs, and it’s also one of the most difficult to manage. The best way to manage your dog’s symptoms is through a combination of medications, supplements, physical therapy, and supportive devices.
Remember that there are many different options out there, and you don’t have to try them all at once. Take your time finding what works best for you and your pet so that things will get better together with time.