Unfortunately, arthritis in dogs is about as common as it is in people. It may range from mild to moderate or severe. If your dog is overweight, the extra pressure on joints can exacerbate the problem. And, as with humans, there may be joint cartilage damage.
Fortunately there are some dog arthritis medications, both over-the-counter and prescriptions, as well as nutritional supplements, that can help make your dog feel better. There are also some physical aids that can assist your arthritic pet in getting around.
Common Signs of Arthritis in Dogs
You dog may experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- Difficulty in getting up
- Limping, especially after exercise
- Walking slower than normal or a change in gait
- Difficulty in jumping or climbing stairs, or a hard time squatting to do his business.
Treating Dog Arthritis: Arthritis Medication and Aspirin for Dogs
It is always best to see your vet to get a proper diagnosis. He or she may prescribe one or more anti-inflammatory medications or pain relievers. You can also get special non-prescription canine aspirin for dogs with arthritis to help relieve their joint pain. Canine aspirin can help reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
Glucosamine and Other Arthritis Supplements for Dogs
Some people have found success in reducing their dog's discomfort and improving their mobility by giving them supplements of glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM. Fatty acid supplements can also be helpful in reducing inflammation by helping to lubricate the joints and improve joint health.
Help Your Dog Lose Weight
Arthritis in dogs, as with people, can be exasperated by extra weight. If your dog is overweight, help him lose excess pounds by reducing calorie intake and giving him low impact exercise such as leash walks and swimming.
Physical Aids for Your Arthritic Dog
- An elevated dog feeder can help your dog so he doesn't have to bend over to eat or drink.
- A pet ramp can help your dog get into the car or on the bed
- A dog harness versus a collar is gentler on the neck and back
- An orthopedic bed provides even support and reduces pressure on joints.
With a little extra care, your arthritic dog can still live an active life.
Valerie Goettsch is web master of My Favorite Dog, a website featuring dozens of articles and information on where to find the best of everything for your dog, from flea meds to beds, training and designer clothes.