Your dog is probably doing a lot of running and catching throughout the day, and exercise is really good. But it carries some risk along, as intense pressure is put on joints of a dog. Same as humans, the dog can develop few joint conditions, of which some could pass unknown, and the other ones might be more serious and ask for intervention. People think that dogs could develop osteoarthritis and similar conditions only when they are older, but on contrary it is very easy that young growing dogs suffer from one as well, so it is important to note that dogs of all age could be a victim of the joint disease. More to add, most of these diseases start developing during the young age, but simply reach their height when the dog is much older. The question that is being raised and is connected directly to this, is what diseases can occur and how to treat the joint problem in dogs?
How to know if Your Dog Suffers from Joint Problem?
So to start off it is important to note that dogs mostly suffer either from joint pain or from a degenerative joint disease like arthritis or osteoarthritis. Now, while some may think that those two are the same there is a difference: arthritis is representing is a simple inflammation of dog’s joint, while osteoarthritis mostly comes later, as cartilage has lost its smoothness. Basically, osteoarthritis presents a continuous inflammation in joints, that can cause even more serious problems and it has to be treated. As of why those conditions actually occur there are few answers:
- It can be caused by genetics, as dogs are at high risk of inheriting joint issues
- Also it can be as a consequence of a fracture/injury, as well as a following issue of some more serious ones like hip or elbow dysplasia
- Abnormal rubbing of the joint can also be a great factor, as cartilage is greatly affected
- Due to hormonal disease or metabolic disorders
Taking this in consideration, it is important to know what are the symptoms of arthritis in dog, and how can you know if your dog is actually a victim of a joint condition:
- Limping is the main symptom that you notice, especially if it happens when your pet stands up, and if it is constant.
- Also your dog might experience decreased motion range, meaning that he will have difficulty moving, which is not hard to notice.
- Spinal issues occur as a following of joint condition, so if you notice lameness in legs or weird back posture that is for sure a sign that something is wrong.
- Your pet might get exhausted more easily than before.
- Also do not be surprised if your dog is more aggressive, as for certainly he is not happy with his condition.
- If one leg looks thinner than others, that is probably because of muscle atrophy which can happen as a consequence of joint disease.
- If your dog licks certain areas, you might want to check those.
So there are few indicators that your dog might be suffering from a joint condition, and though they might not be connected, it is better that you go to a veterinarian who will conduct testing and see if there is a problem. After that, if your dog actually suffers from a joint disease, you will probably get instructed on what to do and how to treat it.
How to Treat Joint Problems in Dog?
To be honest the biggest problem with degenerative joint disease is that it is progressive so unless you do something, the condition of your dog can only get worse. As of ways to cope with this problem there are few:
- Non-surgical treatment is often conducted when the problem is not dramatic. It includes constant weight control, an healthy dog joint diet and moderate exercising, as it is crucial that the weight is put off joints and that those joints are in good condition. Along with that non-inflammatory drugs are prescribed, which are taken to reduce pain and inflammation. Also vitamins and best dog joint supplements should certainly be included, mostly Vitamin D, calcium, and fish oil pills, as those are great for bone health.
- Also there exists a surgical treatment that might be conducted if the situation is critical, and prognoses are not good at all. Basically, it can simply mean an intervention in leg area to release the tension or even a joint replacement. In cases where joint replacement is conducted, although riskier, prognoses are much better as of long-term recovery.
- Sometimes surgical treatment is not necessary as there are also ways like therapies, of which hydrotherapy for dogs has proven to be most effective, including underwater treadmills and pools.
- Taking glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate has proven as an option to include in treating joint disease.
How to Prevent Joint Problems in Dog?
If your dog does not seem to have any of previously mentioned symptoms that is excellent as it is highly unlikely that he suffers from joint degeneration. Having that in mind, you should do everything to prevent a possible development of the same:
- Keep your dog active, while still taking care that he is not over forcing on exercising and putting too much pressure on joints.
- Maintain a healthy diet, including all essential nutrients, healthy fats and meats.
- Give your dog supplements from time to time that could aid in maintaining healthy joints.
- Take your dog to a veterinarian for a regular control, few times a year.
So as you see, not only older dogs are prone to joint problems. Dog at every age is at risk, simply because of daily routine, and also because there are more and more inbreed dogs with a great risk of inheriting some of the joint conditions. Taking this into consideration, if your dog has been diagnosed it is important to follow the instructions and do everything to stop the progress of the disease and help your dog get into normal shape. Also, if this is not the case, then invest your time and money in preventing the occurrence of joint problems, as that will benefit both you and your dog in a longer term.