Humans and dogs share many things in common. As dogs become older, they are more vulnerable to various illnesses, including arthritis. About one in five adult dogs will develop arthritis. Older overweight dogs with little physical activity are prime candidates for arthritis. Dogs may develop arthritis when they start to move slower and sleep more often. When the condition becomes more severe and painful, the dog will limp noticeably and be reluctant to participate in residential dog training.
Trying to care for a dog with arthritis on your own without a diagnosis and vet treatment can be potentially harmful. When it comes to managing your dog’s health conditions, trying to save money without sensible planning may cause unwanted consequences.
Keeping that in mind, let’s take a look at some things dog owners can do to care for dogs with arthritis:
Obtain Prescription Medications- make sure that your dog gets proper medication from your vet. NSAIDs or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for dogs are Rimadyl, Etogesic, Deramaxx and Metacam. Giving dogs regular NSAIDs intended for human use may cause unwanted side effects. Ask whether your dog should get Galliprant, a newer type of NSAID that’s safe for kidneys. The vet may prescribe corticosteroids, like Dexamethasone or Prednisone to reduce inflammation and swelling of arthritis joints. However, long-term use of corticosteroids may worsen joint damage.
Give Nutritional Supplements- nutritional supplements are useful if your dog is deficient in various nutrients or substances. Chondroitin sulfate, glucosamine, methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) and Omega 3 fatty acids could help in relieving symptoms of arthritis. Ask the vet for recommended nutritional supplements. Be aware that giving your dog higher dose of supplements is potentially harmful. Stomach upset and hair loss are common symptoms of supplement overdose. It may take a month or more before positive effects of nutritional supplements are noticeable, so you need to be patient.
Additional Treatments- older dogs with arthritis can benefit from other treatments, like weight loss management, physical therapy, cold laser treatment, residential dog training and acupuncture. Although these treatments don’t directly cure arthritis, your dog may have better mobility and comfort. Talk to your vet to know whether certain treatment options may benefit your dog.
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