Understand Your Dog's Pain
Do you want to relieve your best friend’s pain and make him/her feel comfortable?
Dogs are living longer lives, and similar to humans, their advanced years often come with painful chronic diseases like osteoarthritis. Unfortunately, the signs of arthritis in dogs are often dismissed. Most of us know there’s something not quite right with our pets. We just don’t know what it is. Let’s learn how to spot the signs and partner with your veterinarian to manage the disease.
Risk Factors for Joint Problems in Dogs
Any dog can develop osteoarthritis, particularly as they age. But there are some factors that can predispose your dog to this condition, such as:
- Large or giant breeds, such as German Shepherd Dogs, Labrador Retrievers, and Golden Retrievers
- Age, particularly middle-age to senior dogs
- Repetitive stress from athletic activities such as agility, flyball, or diving
- Injuries such as fractures or ligament tears
- Prior diagnosis of hip or elbow dysplasia
- Infections that affect the joints, such as Lyme Disease
- Improper nutrition
- Poor conformation
Signs of Arthritis in Dogs
Osteoarthritis can be not easy to detect in its early stages, and sometimes the symptoms do not become apparent until the affected joint is badly damaged. Some dogs can be very stoic and will hide their pain until it becomes severe. Thus, it is important to monitor middle-aged to senior dogs and those predisposed to osteoarthritis for early signs of joint disease. These signs include:
- Stiffness, lameness, limping, or difficulty getting up
- Reluctance to run, jump, or play
- Weight gain
- Irritability or changes in behavior
- Pain when petted or touched
- Difficulty posturing to urinate or defecate, or having accidents in the house
- Loss of muscle mass over the limbs and spine
What Our Joint Pain Relief Heat Therapy Coat/Brace Can Do
The application of heat is used to reduce stiffness and muscle spasms, increase blood flow and relieve pain, which can be used for ongoing conditions such as arthritis, hip dysplasia, and injuries. By reducing stiffness, heat therapy helps to improve joint range of motion during and after exercise. In addition to these healing benefits, heat therapy provides comfort, relaxation and anxiety reduction.
Indications for Using the Therapy Coat/Brace
- Strain or sprain of the knee joint
- Back leg limping, instability, or fatigue
- Post-operative support
- After Surgery
- After Exercise
- Hip Dysplasia
Treatment of Osteoarthritis
Unfortunately, osteoarthritis is a progressive disease and there is no known cure. Preventing the development of osteoarthritis through diet, exercise, and the use of protective joint supplements is the best way to keep your dog’s joints healthy. When osteoarthritis develops, treatment is typically focused on controlling pain, decreasing inflammation, improving quality of life, and slowing the development of the disease.
- Joint Supplements
- Weight Management
- Physical Therapy
If you suspect your dog may be exhibiting signs of osteoarthritis, it is important to have your dog evaluated by a veterinarian, who will perform a full physical examination, including palpating your dog’s joints and assessing their range of motion. Your veterinarian may also recommend X-rays of the affected joints, which will help rule out other conditions that can cause similar symptoms. X-rays can also help your veterinarian evaluate the degree of damage to the joint.