When joint pain is a problem for your older dog, arthritis treatment will provide relief from stiffness and aching. Improved veterinary care and dog arthritis medicine can help your pup live a long, healthy life.
Stiffness, difficulty getting up, or an unwillingness to run or play may be signs your dog is suffering pain when he moves. There may not be a pronounced limp and your pet can’t tell you when he is in pain.
Canine arthritis isn’t confined only to senior dogs but can be a result of a joint injury or be common for the breed. Large breed dogs frequently suffer from the disease due to the weight their joints support. Hip dysplasia in dogs is a condition not unusual for large breeds and may require the same dog arthritis treatment. It is normal for your canine companion to slow down a bit as he ages but there are symptoms to watch for that may indicate dog joint pain.
Your dog may seem slow to stand after lying down or be reluctant to jump or fetch or to climb stairs. He may show a decrease in activity and tend to remain in one place rather than follow you from room to room. The dog may be reluctant to sit on command or seem to favor one leg when he walks.
If your dog has painful joints, he may gain weight due to decreased exercise and play. He may seem less alert and sleep more than usual. If the pain is severe you may notice a difference in his behavior if rough housing or massaging causes additional pain.
A slight limp may be a sore joint cause by a mild injury but any change in mobility of your pet that last longer than a couple weeks should be checked by a veterinarian. Early diagnosis and treatment will slow the progression of the disease and extend the years your pet can remain lively and pain free.
Do not give human medications to your dog for joint pain or stiffness as they can be toxic to canines. Although dogs can tolerate baby aspirin, ibuprofen and acetaminophen can be toxic and dosages must be carefully monitored. Aspirin or other canine pain medications should only be given on the advice of your veterinarian.
The best course of action for a pet owner is a diagnosis by a veterinarian followed by dog arthritis treatment with medications specifically designed for dog joint pain. Your vet may prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs as well as an over the counter treatment for pain.
Prescribed medications may also carry a recommendation that your dog be put on a diet to control weight gain or to reduce his size. Excess weight adds more strain to joints already stressed by aging. Cutting back on treats and changing to a high quality food designed for dogs with weight management problems will help shed the extra pounds.
Rimadyl for dogs is the medication most often recommended by veterinarians for dog arthritis treatment. The chewable pill form of Rimadyl has a taste most dogs seem to like and chances are your dog will look forward to his daily dose of dog arthritis medicine. The difference in the activity level of the animal is often amazing after only a short time on Rimadyl for dogs. Don’t be surprised if your old dog begins to act like a pup when his joint pain is eased.
Exercise is another important component of dog arthritis treatment. Running and jumping may be too hard on the joints but regular walks are recommended to maintain flexibility. If your pet has been sedentary in past months, it’s best to start with short walks and let him choose the pace. Don’t overdo it, but increase the distance and speed of your walks as your pooch responds to dog arthritis treatment. The combination of canine pain medication, weight management and regular exercise for dog arthritis treatment will help your older dog enjoy life to the fullest.