Did you know that as many as 80 percent of dogs over the age of eight have arthritis? Arthritis works very much the same for pups as it does for people. In a nutshell, it’s related to the thinning and disintegration of the soft tissues that connect and protect your pet’s joints. As those soft tissues wear out, the bones begin to rub against each other, causing pain, stiffness, inflammation, and, eventually, lameness. There is unfortunately no cure for arthritis. However, there are ways to keep your furry friend more comfortable. A Westminster, MD vet lists some of them below.
Proper nutrition and weight management are important for any pooch, but are especially critical for pups with arthritis. Keeping Fido at —or at least near—his ideal weight. Any extra pounds will add stress to his already-strained bones and joints. Supplements may also be helpful. Glucosamine, for instance, is often recommended for arthritic dogs.
Fido may need to come in a bit more often. If you’re just noticing signs of arthritis, such as limping, schedule an appointment right away. Once your canine buddy has been evaluated, your vet will be able to go over specific treatment options. These may include things like laser therapy, as well as home care tips.
Fido won’t sleep very well on a thin pad. He needs a good bed to keep him warm and cushion his fragile bones from hard floors. Orthopedic beds are the way to go here. Keep in mind that there’s no law saying dogs should only have one bed. Get a few, so your four-legged pal always has a comfy spot in all his favorite hangouts.
Fido won’t be as active as he once was, but he’ll still need proper exercise. Most pups need at least a few daily walks. Swimming may also be a good option, assuming your canine companion enjoys it. Just take care not to overexert Fido. Ask your vet for recommendations.
Nail trims may not sound like a big deal, but they’re more important than many people realize. Long nails interfere with your furry friend’s ability to get good traction, and they change the angle of the way his toes hit the ground. Keep up with Fido’s pawdicures!
Do you suspect your dog has arthritis? Contact us, your Westminster, MD veterinary clinic, today!