Osteoarthritis is a common condition that affects many older dogs, causing them to experience pain and stiffness in their joints. As a loving pet owner, you must understand the different ways to alleviate this pain and improve the quality of life for your furry companion.
According to the American Animal Hospital Association, one in every five dogs (20%) experiences joint problems in their lifetime. Therefore, pet owners must find and implement effective ways to treat osteoarthritis in canines, including medication, supplements, physical therapy, weight management, and more.
If you are a dog owner and your dog is showing the symptoms of osteoarthritis or any other joint disorder, you should be alert. By implementing the strategies below, you can help your dog live a happier and more comfortable life.
1. NSAID Medication
NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) medication is a popular treatment option for dogs suffering from osteoarthritis. These medications work by reducing inflammation and pain in the joints. Common NSAIDs used to treat osteoarthritis in canines include carprofen, meloxicam, and deracoxib.
Because your dog is aging, you must give them something chewable and tasty that they can easily consume. For example, Quellin is a soft chewable tablet for dogs suffering from osteoarthritis. If you want to know what is Quellin used for in dogs, then keep reading.
Quellin Soft Chews, created using Bayer’s patented soft-chew technology, is an NSAID specifically designed for dogs. It relieves pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis and post-operative pain, a type of soft tissue and orthopedic surgery in dogs.
These chews are easy to give to your pet and are soft, making them easy for them to chew. They come in a savory meat flavor that is free of animal proteins. They are also scored for easy dosing and uniform active-ingredient distribution.
You must monitor your dog’s response to the medication and regularly check for any adverse reactions. With proper use, NSAID medication can manage pain and improve the quality of life for dogs with osteoarthritis.
2. Weight Loss
Weight loss is an important aspect of managing osteoarthritis in senior dogs. Excess weight stresses the joints and can exacerbate pain and inflammation.
According to VCA Animal Hospitals, obesity is the most common problem in North American Dogs. About 25-30% of dogs are obese, and 40-45% of 5-11 years old dogs are heavier than normal. Luckily, it is preventable.
By maintaining a healthy weight, dogs can reduce the burden on their joints and improve mobility. Moreover, weight loss can improve overall health, reducing the risk of other chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.
A veterinarian can help develop a weight loss plan tailored to your dog’s needs and health status. It may include changes to diet and exercise and monitoring progress to ensure your dog is reaching and maintaining a healthy weight.
A proper diet can be important in managing osteoarthritis in senior dogs. According to PetKeen, pet owners spend an average of $329-$442 yearly to buy food for their pets. Their diet must be high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients to help reduce inflammation and pain in the joints. It includes foods such as fish, green leafy vegetables, and fruits.
A diet that is low in calories but high in protein can help maintain a healthy weight, reducing the burden on the joints. Senior dogs may also benefit from a diet that includes glucosamine and chondroitin, compounds that help support joint health.
4. Physical Therapy
Physical therapy can be an effective treatment option for dogs suffering from osteoarthritis. It can include exercises to improve mobility, strength, and flexibility. Activities like swimming, walking on an underwater treadmill, and range-of-motion exercises can help.
Physical therapy can decrease inflammation and pain in the joints, enhance overall mobility, maintain a healthy weight, and promote cardiovascular health. It is vital to continually monitor the therapy to ensure that the exercises are safe and appropriate for your dog.
5. Omega Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial in managing osteoarthritis in dogs. In addition, these essential fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties that can help to reduce pain and inflammation in the joints. They can be found in fish, flaxseed, and other sources.
Omega-3 fatty acids can also support a healthy coat and skin and may also have other health benefits, such as cognitive and heart health. Omega-3 fatty acids supplements can be given to dogs and their regular diet.
It is important to consult with a veterinarian before beginning any dietary supplement, as they may interact with other medications and may not be suitable for all dogs. They may also need to adjust the dosage based on the dog’s weight and condition.
6. Glucosamine and Chondroitin
Glucosamine and chondroitin support joint health in dogs. Glucosamine, a naturally-occurring compound, plays a role in the formation and repair of cartilage. Chondroitin is a molecule found in cartilage and helps the structure and function of cartilage.
Together, these compounds can help to reduce inflammation and pain in the joints and improve overall mobility. These supplements can be given to dogs orally and can be found in various forms, such as tablets, capsules, and chews.
In conclusion, osteoarthritis is a common condition that affects many older dogs, causing them to experience pain and stiffness in their joints. As a pet owner, you must understand the different ways to alleviate this pain and improve the quality of life for your furry companion.
The article discussed six ways to treat osteoarthritis in canines, including medication, supplements, physical therapy, weight management, and more.
However, you must consult a veterinarian before starting any treatment, as they will recommend the best course of action based on your dog’s specific needs and health status. Proper care can enable your dog to lead a fulfilling life despite the difficulties caused by osteoarthritis.