Canine Arthritis Treatment

by Sam Malone

Arthritis not only affects humans but dogs too. Canine arthritis affects an estimated one in five adult dogs all over the world. The most common causes are congenital skeletal or joint defects. Canine arthritis is also caused due to damage to joints from previous accidents. Genetics, infection, immune system problems and excessive strain from repeated activity also play a hand in the occurrence of this disease.

Detecting the symptoms of canine arthritis is difficult because dogs cannot verbally express their discomfort. However, there are several other signs that should not be missed such as a limp, difficulty in sitting or standing, and decreased activity. Many pet owners simply shrug off these symptoms thinking that it is a sign of laziness or old age, when in fact the dog maybe suffering from arthritis.

If you have any doubts as to whether your dog suffers from canine arthritis, it is a good idea to take him or her to a veterinarian. The vet will be able to make a diagnosis based on physical examination and x-rays.

Treatment for canine arthritis can consist of medication to soothe the inflammation and pain, and nutritional supplements to minimize the side effects of the medicine. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) are commonly used to treat canine arthritis. There are also many over-the-counter medications that are available that contain glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate or Omega fatty acids. Always consult your veterinarian before administering an over-the-counter medicine. Certain medicines such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen can be toxic to dogs and should be avoided.

In addition to the medication to treat inflammation, you should also ensure that your pet takes nutritional supplements that will help minimize the harmful side effects of these medicines. Common side effects to medication include vomiting, diarrhea, kidney and liver problems, hair loss and excessive urination.

You can help speed up the treatment process by ensuring that your pet gets regular exercise, and massaging the affected part. Obesity can speed up the progress of this disease and it must be ensured that your dog’s diet is properly controlled.

In case the limbs get severely damaged due to the arthritis, you may choose to go in for surgery. Surgery can be carried out to replace the damaged joints or to fit the animal with prosthetic devices that will ensure that he or she is able to stay mobile. 
Warning: The reader of this article should exercise all precautionary measures while following instructions on the home remedies from this article. Avoid using any of these products if you are allergic to it. The responsibility lies with the reader and not with the site or the writer.
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