Dog Arthritis Treatment: How to Treat and Help Manage Pain

dog arthritis treatment

Arthritis is a common condition that affects dogs as they age, causing discomfort, pain, and a decline in activity levels. As a caring pet owner, it’s crucial to understand the best treatment options available to ease your dog’s symptoms of arthritis and improve their quality of life.

In this article, we will explore various aspects of canine arthritis treatment, including pain management, natural remedies, exercise recommendations, dietary considerations, and the lifespan of dogs with arthritis.

What is the Best Treatment for a Dog with Arthritis?

In older dog, joints begin to deteriorate with age resulting in arthritis.

When it comes to ways to treat arthritis in dogs, the AKC recommends a multi-faceted approach as the most effective. The primary goal is to manage pain and reduce inflammation. 

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID therapy), prescribed by a veterinarian, are commonly used for pain relief. Additionally, other medications, such as corticosteroids, disease-modifying osteoarthritis drugs (DMOADs), and joint supplements, may be recommended.

The experts at PetMD recommend medicines like Galliprant, Carprofen, and Meloxicam as some of the most effective for pain relief in dogs with joint pain. However, some of these may be steroidal anti inflammatory drugs or synthetic opioid. While they can result in pain free life, they could have side effects.

Dog Arthritis Treatment Home Remedy

While it is crucial to consult with a veterinarian for a comprehensive treatment plan for your dog’s arthritis, there are some home remedies you can try to help alleviate their symptoms. Here is a step-by-step guide to implementing dog arthritis home remedies:

Consult with a Veterinarian

Before starting any home remedies to treat arthritis, it is essential to have your dog examined by a veterinarian. They can diagnose the severity of arthritis, provide appropriate management recommendations, and ensure the chosen remedies are safe and suitable for your dog’s specific condition.

Weight Management

Excess body weight can put additional stress on your dog’s joints, exacerbating arthritis symptoms. Work with your veterinarian to determine your dog’s healthy weight and adjust its diet accordingly. Providing a balanced and nutritious diet, avoiding overfeeding, and incorporating weight management strategies can help reduce joint pain.

Provide a Comfortable Sleeping Area

Ensure your dog has a warm and cozy sleeping area with supportive bedding. Orthopedic beds or memory foam mattresses can provide extra cushioning and joint pain support, making it more comfortable for your dog to rest and sleep.

Gentle Therapeutic Exercise

Regular, low-impact exercise is beneficial for dogs with arthritis. Dog owner may take the dog on short, controlled walks on even surfaces. Similarly, swimming can help maintain joint mobility, strengthen dog’s muscles, and prevent stiffness and dog’s pain. Avoid high-impact activities or excessive exercise that can cause discomfort or further joint damage.

Apply Heat or Cold Therapy

Depending on your dog’s preference, applying warm compresses or cool packs to the affected joints can help alleviate discomfort and reduce inflammation. Always ensure that the temperature is suitable and not too hot or cold, and monitor your dog’s response to the therapy.

Massage and Physical Therapy

Gentle massages and range-of-motion exercises can help improve circulation, reduce muscle tension, and increase joint fluid and joint flexibility. Consult with a professional animal massage therapist or a veterinarian experienced in physical therapy techniques to learn safe and effective methods to perform at home.

Arthritic Joints Supplements

Consult with your veterinarian about incorporating joint supplements or joint capsule, such as glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, into your dog’s diet. 

These supplements can support joint health, promote healthy cartilage repair, and reduce pain and inflammation. Ensure you use veterinary-approved supplements and follow the recommended dosage.

Provide Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are the building blocks of the joints. They are found in fish oil supplements or natural sources like salmon or sardines, and possess anti-inflammation properties.

 Adding omega-3 fatty acids to your dog’s diet can help reduce joint inflammation and alleviate arthritis symptoms. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the appropriate dosage for your dog’s size and condition.

Environmental Modifications

Make necessary adjustments to your dog’s environment to facilitate their mobility. Use ramps or stairs to assist them in reaching elevated surfaces, such as beds or couches. Ensure the flooring is slip-resistant to prevent accidents or further joint strain.

Monitor and Adapt

Regularly observe your dog’s behavior and response to the home remedies you are implementing. Note any changes in their mobility, pain levels, or overall well-being. Stay in close communication with your veterinarian, providing updates on your dog’s progress, and seeking further guidance if necessary.

Remember, while home remedies for canine arthritis can provide some relief and physical rehabilitation, they should always complement veterinary advice and a comprehensive treatment plan. A complete physical examination is a must before using home remedies.

 Your veterinarian is the best resource for guiding you through appropriate home remedies and ensuring your dog receives the most effective treatment for their arthritis.

Also Read: Pinched Nerve in Dogs Neck- Causes and Remedies

What Causes Degenerative Joint Disease in Dogs?

Degenerative joint disease, also known as osteoarthritis, is primarily caused by the wear and tear of the joints over time. Several factors contribute to its development:

  • Age: As dogs age, older dogs joints naturally undergo degeneration and become less resilient, leading to arthritis.
  • Genetics: Certain breeds are predisposed to developing this disease due to genetic factors. Large breeds like golden retrievers or giant breeds like mastiffs and those with conformational abnormalities or damaged joints are more susceptible.
  • Joint Abnormalities: Pre-existing joint conditions, such as hip dysplasia or elbow dysplasia, can increase the likelihood of developing osteoarthritis.
  • Obesity: Excess weight puts additional strain on the joints, leading to increased wear and tear, inflammation, and the development of arthritis.
  • Joint Trauma: Previous injuries or trauma to the joints, including fractures or ligament tears, can contribute to the development of arthritis later in life.
  • Joint Infections: Infections in the joints, such as septic arthritis, can cause damage and lead to the onset of this progressive disease.
  • Immune System Disorders: Autoimmune diseases and inflammatory conditions can trigger an immune response that damages the joint tissues, resulting in arthritis.

It is important to note that this is a progressive condition, and while the underlying causes vary, the end result is the deterioration of joint cartilage, inflammation, and pain. Proper management and treating arthritis are crucial to minimizing discomfort and maintaining your dog’s quality of life.

How Long Can a Dog With Arthritis Live?

The lifespan of a dog with arthritis can vary depending on several factors, including the severity of the condition, overall health, and the treatment provided. With proper care, many dogs with arthritis can live a fulfilling life for several years.

 By implementing appropriate treatment strategies and making necessary lifestyle adjustments, you can help ensure that your senior dog enjoys a good quality of life despite their arthritis diagnosis.

Is Arthritis Very Painful for Dogs?

Arthritis can be extremely painful for older dogs, as it causes inflammation in the joints and compromises their mobility. 

Dogs with arthritis may experience symptoms such as stiffness, limping, reluctance to engage in physical activities, and behavioral changes. It is essential to monitor your dog for signs of pain and discomfort and consult with a veterinarian to develop an appropriate pain management plan.

Another painful condition is septic arthritis in dogs. It is an infection in the joints that can occur due to bacteria or fungi post trauma, surgery, or systemic blood infection.

Should You Walk a Dog With Arthritis?

While exercise is vital for maintaining a dog’s overall health and well-being, it needs to be tailored to accommodate their arthritis condition.

 Low-impact exercises, such as short, controlled walks or swimming, can be beneficial for pets with arthritis. These activities help to improve joint mobility, strengthen muscles, and maintain a healthy weight. They may even help in controlling pain.

However, it is crucial to avoid overexertion and adapt the exercise routine based on your dog’s individual needs and limitations.

What Natural Medication Can I Give My Dog for Arthritis?

In addition to proper nutrition, several natural remedies can assist in managing arthritis in canine pals. Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate supplements are commonly used to support joint health and lessen inflammation. 

Fish oil supplements rich in omega-3 fatty acids can also provide anti-inflammation benefits. Other natural therapies, such as acupuncture, massage, and bodily therapy, may complement traditional treatments and promote pain relief and subside inflammation.

There is no known cure for arthritis. These days, vets also recommend laser treatment for reducing inflammation and severe pain in the dog’s joints.

What Can I Do at Home to Help My Dog With Arthritis?

You can take several steps at home to improve your dog’s comfort and well-being. Providing a warm and cozy sleeping area with supportive bedding is essential. So is moderate exercise.

Consider using ramps or stairs to help your dog navigate elevated surfaces. Applying warm compresses or using heated pads can help alleviate joint stiffness. Regular grooming sessions can help maintain healthy skin and coat, as well as prevent matting that can contribute to discomfort.

What Can You Give a Dog for Pain Home Remedy?

While it is always best to consult with a veterinarian for appropriate pain relief options, there are some home remedies that may provide temporary relief. 

Applying ice packs or cool compresses to swollen joints can help decrease inflammation and alleviate pain. 

Physical therapy techniques, such as gentle massages, passive stretching, and range-of-motion workouts along with non invasive treatment to improve blood flow, can also offer some relief. However, it is crucial to remember that home remedies should complement veterinary guidance and not replace professional advice.

What Foods Help Dogs With Arthritis?

Maintaining a healthy diet is essential for managing arthritis in pets. Foods and supplements rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, sardines, and flaxseeds, can help diminish inflammation and promote joint health. The AKC also recommends green lipped mussel to arthritic canines.

Antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, including blueberries, spinach, and sweet potatoes, can support overall wellness. Additionally, ensuring that your dog maintains a healthy weight is crucial, as excess weight places additional stress on their joints.

Should You Walk Dogs With Arthritis?

Walking pets with arthritis is beneficial as long as it is done in a controlled manner. Short, gentle walks on even surfaces can help keep joints mobile and prevent muscle atrophy.

 Avoid strenuous activities, long hikes, or rough terrains and slippery floors that may exacerbate pain or cause injury. Dog owners must monitor their pets closely during walks and adjust the duration and intensity of motion exercises based on their comfort level.

FAQs

How long can dogs live with arthritis? 

The lifespan of canines with arthritis pain depends on various factors, such as the dog’s overall health, the progression of arthritis, and the effectiveness of treatment. Kidney function tests may be needed based on the dog’s age as arthritis could cause kidney issues.

While there is no definitive answer, with proper care and management, most dogs can live fulfilling lives for several years despite their arthritis diagnosis.

What is the best over-the-counter arthritis medicine for dogs? What are the best dog’s arthritis pain joint supplements?

It is important to note that over-the-counter medications for humans should not be administered to dogs without veterinary guidance, as they can be harmful or even fatal. 

Always consult with a veterinarian for suitable over-the-counter arthritis in dogs medications (non steroidal anti inflammatory) and other treatment options that are specifically formulated for canines.

Can a dog recover from arthritis?

Arthritis in dogs is incurable. However, it can be managed with therapy, massage, controlled walking or regular exercise, a healthy diet, and pain medications. Early signs caught early can help pets with arthritis have a better quality of life.

Conclusion 

Dog arthritis management can be a challenging condition to manage, but with the right treatment and care, five dogs can live comfortable and happy lives. A combination of veterinary-approved medications, natural remedies, appropriate daily exercise, and a healthy diet can significantly improve your pal’s arthritis pain symptoms and overall well-being.

 Always consult with a veterinarian to develop a comprehensive treatment plan tailored to your dog’s individual needs. By providing the necessary support and adapting to their environment, you can help arthritic dogs navigate their diagnosis and enjoy a good quality of life for years to come.

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