I Think I'm Dealing with Dog Arthritis - What Can I Do To Help?
When they’re puppies, they jump in your lap, lick your face and cuddle. As they age, dog arthritis can set in and it can hurt you as much as it hurts them to watch them suffer. With people, we can tell our loved ones we hurt before it gets too bad. Unless you’re the dog whisperer, though, you may not realize your best friend is hurting until the condition has progressed.
Arthritis in dogs is the same condition as arthritis in people; degeneration of a joint that can lead to cartilage loss and the bones rubbing on each other. There may be swelling, there’s almost certainly pain, and it can be anywhere. In dogs though, it seems like it hits the hips and knees more than the spine. Part of that is simple gravity; because dogs walk on four legs and their spine is horizontal to the ground, there isn’t as much compression on theirs as on ours.
How Did My Dog Get Arthritis?
There are a couple ways dog arthritis starts. First is normal stress on a joint with problems. Hip dysplasia is the easiest example of this. The second way canine arthritis starts is overuse on a normal joint. Think of dogs that jump over obstacles, exercise or train strenuously, fall or have had other injuries. Big dogs are more likely to get arthritis as they get older, but really any older dog could suffer.
Symptoms of Dog Arthritis
If you think your pup might have dog arthritis, here are signs to look for:
- Apparent pain while walking
- Not wanting to jump on the couch, bed, or into a truck (or not able to at all)
- Difficulty getting down to a sitting or laying position, and/or trouble getting back up
- Yelping in pain when petted or nipping at you when you try to pet them
- Not eating as much (in larger dogs this may be because it hurts to get down to their dishes – try raising the dish up a foot or so off the ground so they don’t have to bend down)
If you believe your dog has arthritis, get him or her to the vet for a work up immediately. There are a couple of different types of arthritis (degenerative and infectious) and treatment for them is very different. It’s important to find out which type your dog has so you understand the treatment options fully. I’m not discussing infectious arthritis at all here, so please, go see your vet for a correct diagnosis.
If your dog has joint malformations, the arthritis may be slowed down with surgery. If your dog’s joints are normal, then many of the same human treatments work in dogs. The standard options include:
To learn about V.O.M. just follow this link to Dr. Inman’s site. He’s the vet who trained me in it.
If you live in the Antelope Valley (Lancaster, Palmdale, Quartz Hill, Acton, Agua Dulce, or Rosamond) and you’re interested in seeing if V.O.M. can help with dog arthritis, fill out the form below and I’ll be in contact shortly.