Arthritis – How to Help Your Older Dog

By Valdette Muller| July 6, 2017 | Blog

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These days our dogs are living longer and are benefitting from the advancement of medicine and other veterinary research.

Unfortunately as dogs get older, they become prone to health issues, these include the lack of mobility and the development of arthritis.

Fortunately it is still possible to provide your ageing dog with a good quality of life.

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Identifying the causes of your dog’s mobility problem.

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One should first look for the problem area/areas that are causing your dog pain or discomfort. Take your dog to a vet and work out where the problem areas are on your dog’s body.

Arthritis means “inflammation of the joint(s),” and is a common problem in older dogs but mobility problems can also stem from:

  • Degeneration of the nerves
  • Muscle weakness and/or muscle mass loss
  • Torn cruciate ligaments
  • Inflammation of a mass associated with one of the organs within their abdomen (e.g. spleen, liver)
  • Heart or respiratory disease can cause mobility issues
  • Or a simple case of overgrown nails

To catch these problems early on you should take your dog to see a vet at least once or twice a year regardless of how healthy they look or how regular their vaccinations are.

Tips & Products that can help your dog around the house.

Making sure they don’t slip: 

For dogs with mobility problems, walking on any surface can prove tricky. This is especially true on slippery surfaces, the following steps can help prevent painful slips or falls.

  • Lay out some carpets or runners in your home
  • If you have slick stairs, place some non-slip treads over them
  • Give them some grip with Sticky Pawz. These provide traction for your dogSticky_Pawz_3

Make sure your dog is comfortable: 

  • Regular nail trimming improves comfort and mobility
  • Check that the temperature of a room is not too hot or too cold, as extreme temperatures in either direction can cause joint pain to flare up
  • Check with a vet to make sure your dog is the proper weight for his/her size. If too heavy, it could put more strain on their joints and worsen your dogs condition
  • Give your dog a well cushioned and comfortable place to sleep at night. Do not allow your dog to sleep on hard surfaces.
  • Your dog may soil themselves (faeces and urine) even though they have been house trained. With a lack of mobility, they may not make it to the door fast enough or may be unable to move at all. Keep dry shampoos and carpet cleaners on hand to clean up quickly and easily
  • Make sure they can get to their food and water by keeping the food and water close by

Medications & Supplements: 

When it comes to managing your dog’s arthritis, every dog is different. Often you need more then one medication and one supplement to achieve the best possible results. Remember to work with your vet and figure out the best possible pain management for your dog.

  • Joint supplements, such as GCS Joint Care come in forms of a powder, chews and liquid all designed to be ingested directly or mixed in with your dog’s food. You can also try Herbal Pet Formulated Support, or Nutradyl Joint Supplement and Canosan Chewable which comes in a tablet form
  • Omega 3 fatty acids found in fish oils can help to decrease inflammation in a dog’s arthritic joints when given at a certain dosage. Ask your vet for more information
  • Your vet may also prescribe medication for more serious cases
  • Therapies such as acupuncture, massages, and warm water hydrotherapy can be very helpful for decreasing pain and improving mobility in dogs with joint pain

Sources: http://www.vetstreet.com/care/10-ways-to-help-an-arthritic-dog

http://www.petmd.com/dog/care/evr_dg_caring_for_older_dogs_with_health_problems

http://www.preventivevet.com/dogs/how-to-help-an-older-dog-with-arthritis-and-other-mobility-issues

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