what is arthritis?
Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints. A joint is where two bones meet and move against each other. Cartilage is the connective tissue at the end of bones. It protects the bones from damage as they move against each other during exercise. Arthritis occurs when the cartilage becomes inflamed or starts to break down.
what are the symptoms of dog arthritis
Just as in humans, dogs start to experience arthritis as they get older. Almost all dogs will suffer from some form of arthritis in their senior years. Canine arthritis is more common in larger breeds.
There are many symptoms of arthritis and it is usually pretty easy to work out that something is wrong. Symptoms can include a lack of interest in exercise, swollen joints, a reluctance to walk up steps, trouble lying down or getting up from a lying position and lameness in one or more of its legs.
Your dog’s symptoms may be worse in the morning and improve gradually as the day goes on. Cold weather may increase the severity of the symptoms.
He may also have a lack of appetite, show signs of depression or display nervous or aggressive behavior.
Some owners fail to realise that dog is suffering from arthritis. They simply put the change in behavior down to “old age”.
what will a vet do?
As soon as it becomes apparent that your dog has arthritis, you should take him to a vet for a thorough check-up. Your vet will normally give your dog a physical examination, take some blood tests and possibly organise an x-ray.
Arthritis can be a very painful condition, so your vet will probably prescribe painkillers as well as an anti-inflammatory drug. One of the most widely used remedies for arthritis is glucosamine sulfate. This will act as an anti-inflammatory and may help to rehabilitate the damaged cartilage.
should i still exercise my dog if he has arthritis?
Lack of exercise and obesity can make arthritis worse. Exercise will help to keep the joint loose. Keeping your dog’s weight down will relieve pressure on the joints. You should keep a close eye on your dog’s weight and make sure he engages in moderate exercise. attention to these two factors combined with medication will allow your dog to lead a relatively pain free life.
Some of the medication prescribed for arthritis can have side effects. these side effects can include kidney disease or stomach ulcers. it is important for your dog to have regular veterinary check-ups to prevent these conditions occurring.