As you may know, arthritis is very common in older dogs. In fact, over 65% of dogs over age seven are afflicted. While arthritis isn’t curable, there are things you can do to keep your furry pal comfortable. A Butler County vet discusses doggy arthritis below.
Keep an eye out for warning signs as your pooch ages. Limping is often the first thing you’ll see. Dogs with arthritis sometimes lick or bite themselves. Fido may have trouble getting up or down, climbing stairs, or getting in and out of the car. You may also notice behavioral changes, such as grumpiness, withdrawal, and/or a reduced interest in play. If you notice any of these red flags in your canine buddy, schedule a veterinary appointment ASAP.
Modern-day veterinary medicine offers some great treatment options that can help decrease your dog’s pain and increase his range of motion and quality of life. Laser therapy, for example, can be very effective in treating arthritis in dogs. The treatments are painless, and can be repeated as needed, often with continued improvement. Ask your vet for more information.
Keeping Fido Comfortable
In addition to veterinary treatments, proper home care is also important. Make sure Fido has a comfy bed. Orthopedic beds are great for arthritic dogs, because of the extra support they offer. Your pup will appreciate elevated dishes, and, eventually, pet ramps or stairs. It’s also important to keep your canine pal’s nails clipped. Overgrown nails are quite uncomfortable, so dogs sometimes adjust their gaits to compensate. This puts a lot of stress on their bones and joints. Your pooch may also enjoy massages, heated beds, and/or warm-water swims.
Diet And Exercise
Offer your pooch a high-quality, nourishing food. Your vet may recommend supplements, such as glucosamine or fish oil. Be sure to keep your pet at a healthy weight. Extra weight will strain Fido’s musculoskeletal system, and will also make it harder for him to stay active. Speaking of exercise, it’s also very important. Your furry friend won’t be as playful as he once was, but don’t let him become a couch potato, either. Most dogs need at least a daily walk. Swimming may also be beneficial, assuming your pup enjoys it. Ask your vet for specific advice.
Do you know or suspect that your dog has arthritis? Contact us, your Butler County vet clinic, today!