Signs of Arthritis in Dogs and Treatment
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Signs of Arthritis in Dogs


Signs of Arthritis in dogs, arthritis in dogs symptoms, treatment options and prevention advice such as daily treats of Glucosamine for Dogs:

Canine arthritis is hard for owners to diagnose because it is often mistaken for old age and a general slowness of a dog. Proper diagnosis of arthritis in dogs is important so that the dog can receive appropriate treatment, especially pain relief.



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Arthritis in Dogs Symptoms


  • A dog who has difficulty getting out of its bed or basket after a long rest or sleep period may be showing signs of arthritis. Unfortunately, many owners mistake this for laziness and ignore the problem of this early sign of arthritis in dogs symptoms. This is caused by stiffness in the joints when resting, which usually loosen once the dog is up and about. The impression of laziness can be compounded because many dogs can be their usual active self once on the go and over the transient stiffness, so owners think the dog just wanted an extra sleep. However many dogs with arthritis can over do it one day and suffer from pain the next (called the rebound effect).

  • Your dog may have a noticeable limp. A limp should never be ignored and is one of the first signs of arthritis in dogs. Early veterinary advice is recommended.

  • Some dogs may have noticeable swollen joints. This is another classic sign of arthritis in dogs and early veterinary advice should be sought.

  • A dog that compensates by putting more weight to an unaffected limb may have thinner muscles in an affected joint. For the same reason the dog's nails on the affected limb may be longer as they are not so worn down by walking.

  • You may notice that your dog is unable to jump as much as it used too, most noticeable when climbing the stairs, getting into a car or jumping onto your bed or sofa.

  • Arthritis in dogs symptoms can come and go so owners may think their dog has muscle strain or injury and rest the dog without seeking a vet's advice. If you notice these arthritis in dogs symptoms please seek veterinary advice.



    Glucosamine for Dogs


    Much like humans, dogs with joint problems such as arthritis have shown an improvement in their mobility and reduction in joint stiffness when they eat glucosamine products. One easy and convenient way to give glucosamine to dogs with signs of arthritis in a tasty way is by giving them a daily Pedigree Joint Care + chew treat. This joint care for dogs contains glucosamine which has naturally been derived from shellfish. Glucosamine helps to rebuild joint tissue in a dog's body and can help reduce arthritis in dogs symptoms. Other natural ingredients include omega 3 which will help to support the natural suppleness of your dog and also promote his or her joint mobility and can reduce the signs of arthritis in dogs. The chondroitin in Pedigree Joint Care will help to ease any stiffness and discomfort in your dog's joints and is extracted from green lipped mussel powder whilst the methionine will help to support your dog's natural regeneration process and can help reduce arthritis in dogs symptoms. There are case studies of dog's whose lives have been improved by Pedigree Jointcare Plus, such as Bracken, at their websites www.pedigreejointcare.co.uk and www.pedigree.com

    Pedigree Jointcare Plus is recommended for large dogs such as Flat Coated Retrievers and other dog's whose weight is from 25kg to 50kg and show signs of arthritis in dogs. There are also Pedigree JointCare Plus products for small and medium weight dog's. Prices range in value from the small being cheaper. Pedigree Joint Care Plus is said to give your dog a new lease of life. This glucosamine for dogs product is available in a seven day pack or even cheaper in a 21 day box. It is recommended that Pedigree Joint Care + be given to your older dog each day to see an improvement after several weeks. Pedigree have a six week challenge at their website. We at flat-coats.co.uk fed these to our dog after she reached the age of ten years and saw an improvement in her walking and running after just two weeks. We are able to go for long walks again and it is great to see her running around once more. She loves the taste of these and it is just like giving her a daily treat rather than medicine.

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    Canine Hydrotherapy

    Swim to recovery: canine hydrotherapy healing (Gentle Dog Care Series)describes the work of the Animal Magic for Hydrotherapy, Fitness and Grooming Centre in Colchester, Essex, England which helps to treat dogs with arthritis and a range of illnesses. This aquatic therapy is ideal for dogs with arthritis who may benefit from hydrotherapy which can enhance the flexibility and range of joint motions, strengthen surrounding muscles which can help support arthritic joints, improve or maintain mobility, relieve muscle spasms and alleviate the pain associated with canine arthritis. Dog hydrotherapy is set in a controlled and safe environment with qualified staff. The water is heated to 26 to 30 degrees Celsius for optimum therapeutic benefit.

    One important chapter entitled the aches and pains of arthritis is invaluable to those dog owners whose pet suffers from osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or septic arthritis. These degenerative joint diseases are discussed in detail which includes the clinical signs of arthritis in dogs such as muscle atrophy, crepitus (the crunching sensation felt between two joints due to damaged cartilage which also gives the sound of joints rubbing together), a dog’s reluctance to go for a walk or to jump due to arthritis pain. This arthritis chapter continues with how a vet would diagnose arthritis in a dog such as palpating the area to feel and hear joint changes.

    The three types of dog arthritis are each described in detail. These are osteoarthritis which is a progressive loss of the articular cartilage, often associated with old age, development abnormalities in younger dogs, wear and tear and overweight dogs. The symptoms of canine osteoarthritis and treatments are explained.

    Canine rheumatoid arthritis which is caused by an abnormality in the immune system of the dog is the second type of dog arthritis discussed, This type of dog arthritis causes the body to produce inflammation around joints in response to foreign proteins attaching to the joints, The body’s natural response of producing antibodies known as rheumatoid factors damages joints which gives the dog arthritis pain. Possible treatments are discussed.

    The other type of dog arthritis is septic arthritis which is sometimes called bacterial arthritis and usually affects just one joint as a result of an infection to the fluid and tissues of the joint cavity. This type of dog arthritis results in heat and pain at the joint and the dog may suffer from a fever.

    Each of these dog arthritis types are discussed in case histories which outlines the types of hydrotherapy and exercises used to treat the dogs, the length of the treatment and the progress made by each dog suffering from arthritis.

    Swim to recovery: canine hydrotherapy healing guides the reader through each stage of this important therapy from the assessment, the types of injuries and diseases that dog hydrotherapy can help such as hip dysplasia and patella luxation as well as dog arthritis.

    The book is written by Hydrotherapist Emily Wong in a very relaxed and easy to follow manner with lots of wonderful photos of dogs undertaking hydrotherapy treatments. There are case studies throughout Swim to recovery: canine hydrotherapy healing which help highlight the importance of this aquatic exercise therapy and the difference it can make to dogs and their owners.

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    TREATMENT AND PREVENTION OF CANINE ARTHRITIS


    Early veterinary examination is recommended if your dog shows any of the symptoms and signs of arthritis in dogs above or if you suspect your dog is ill. Your dog will then benefit from a qualified treatment regime to reduce arthritis in dogs symptoms. Some dog insurance policies may cover such costs. Most treatments centre on reducing the inflammation in the joints and managing the pain.


    Old Dog


    Preventing your dog from becoming over-weight will help prevent unnecessary pressure going through their joints and help ease arthritis in dogs symptoms. If your dog is already over-weight, a diet and gentle exercise will help it lose weight which will relieve some of the pressure from their weight causing further wear and tear to the joints.


    Read the dog health page.



    Dog Car Ramp

    One way to help an arthritic older dog to get easily in and out of a car is with the use of a dog car ramp.



    Dog Car Ramp

    Most dog car ramps extend or fold up for easy storage into the car and are robust enough to take the weight of most adult dogs.



    Dog Using Car Ramp

    In the photo above you can see Lucy, our older Flat Coated Retriever, making use of the dog car ramp which has helped reduce her arthritis in dogs symptoms. It took her a wee while to get used to walking up and down it and we overcame this by dangling her favourite meat treat over the dog car ramp treads. She soon learnt to use the dog car ramp in order to be awarded her treat. We are sure it is helping to reduce her arthritis pain levels and allowing her to go for walks.


    Healthy Treats Joint Aid

    Healthy Treats Joint Aid is available from Tesco shops. These healthy treats joint aid chews contain Glucosamine and Chondroitin to help your dog's joint mobility, making this ideal for those with signs of arthritis in dogs. The Tesco healthy treats joint aid chews also contain vitamin, minerals and extra Omega 3 oil which help with canine arthritis. The Glucosamine and Chondroitin are sourced from green lipped muscle powder and the treats are quite large enough to satisfy the hungriest of pets.



    Read more about the signs of arthritis in dogs, arthritis in dogs symptoms and the available treatment in an article written by a veterinarian who runs a dog breeds and health related issues website at www.dog-breeds-and-dog-health.com where there is information about Osteoarthritis (OA), Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD) and a description of synovial joints and damage to the articular cartilage that can occur in older dogs. Dr Caroline also discusses in more detail the diagnosis of canine osteoarthritis and the conservative, medical and surgical treatments available.





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