Treating Arthritis in Dogs
If you have a senior Chihuahua like I do, then your dog is probably suffering from arthritis as is my Chico. Arthritis in dogs is a common condition, especially in senior dogs. Have you ever heard the words, “There’s really not much we can do for your pet’s arthritis?” I know I have. Isn’t it frustrating? Your fur baby is hurting and they tell you “there’s nothing we can do”!
Sadly, for some dogs that may actually be true, but the vast majority CAN get arthritis relief. The progression of arthritis in dogs may be unstoppable, however, symptoms can be alleviated by a variety of canine arthritis treatments.
Because of this negativity, the dog owners that I’ve talked to are very pessimistic about whether it’s possible to help their dogs with anything short of a joint replacement. No one wants to put their poor dog through that surgical procedure.
The First Step To Treating Arthritis in Dogs
Of course, even if your veterinarian is one of those that tell you “there is not much we can do”, you should have your dog evaluated by a veterinarian first to check on the status and progression of your dog’s disease. But, even if it is advanced, don’t despair, it’s never too late to find ways to alleviate some of the symptoms of arthritis in dogs.
If your dog is overweight, your veterinarian can help you adjust his diet to help him lose the extra weight that is causing unnecessary pressure on the joint, thus causing him pain.
Non-Evasive Ways To Treat Canine Arthritis
- Weight loss
- Alternative Therapies
- Simple Home Care
This is the most under-used area regarding arthritis treatment. If your dog has arthritis, it is no longer good enough to maintain a healthy weight. To relieve pain it is better to keep him on the lean side of the ideal weight. What I found that helped when Chico got a little too chubby was a company that has homemade fresh dog food that is formulated by a veterinarian nutritionist in the exact right portion to get your dog to his healthy, ideal weight delivered right to your front door. If you want to know more about that; CLICK HERE >
Unless your Chihuahuas condition is so far advanced that it is just too painful to walk, walking is still the best treatment for arthritis. Walking and other exercise helps build up the muscles surrounding the joint to better support it, helping to relieve pain.
Swimming is another great exercise for dogs. If you don’t have access to a canine underwater treadmill, (who does?) try letting him swim in the bathtub. Use a life jacket if necessary.
There are also canine treadmills now. This would help those owners that have a disability that prevents them from walking their dog themselves.
There are now canine massage, acupuncture, and chiropractics and they have all shown to be beneficial to treating arthritis in dogs.
Just keep in mind that for every one legitimate practitioner, there are 20 none certified scammers out there, so be careful. Make sure you have a solid recommendation or check their credentials.
Simple Home Care:
Many don’t even think about what a difference a simple change in home environment can make in your dog’s comfort. Slippery floors, for instance. It is much harder and definitely more stressful to have to walk on slippery floors when your dog may be afraid of slipping and landing splayed out on the floor.
Slippers could help or just make sure there are runners on the paths he must walk to potty, eat and sleep.
Does your Chi love to sit on your lap or is the couch his favorite place to nap, but he no longer will jump up? Will he no longer jump up on the bed to sleep at night? Here is where steps could help.
Drugs are the last resort and there are lots of choices. Keep in mind it should be a last resort and only if the above suggestions no longer help. One is Adequan. There are other pain medications that your vet may prescribe. Never give your dog any type of drug without consulting with your veterinarian first.
Using any or all of the above will greatly increase your dog’s comfort level and help him through the stress of getting older and alleviate pain.