Arthritis in Dogs – 6 Ways to Ease the Pain -Part 6 Anti-Inflammatories

We found this wonderful article on Arthritis in Dog written by a knowledgeable vet Jo who is a veterinarian blogger.  Please go to her site to read more insightful articles:  http://creatureclinic.com/

Here is the last installment of 6 Ways to Ease Arthritis Pain in Dogs

Part 6:  Anti-Inflammatories and Pain Relief

Drugs are available that can reduce inflammation and suppress pain in dogs with more advanced disease.  The main category is a group called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS).  They are very effective, but not without potential side effects.  If used improperly or in the wrong patient, they can cause stomach ulceration or damage the kidneys.  Side effects can be minimized by monitoring your dog’s blood work regularly. Other forms of pain relief that may be beneficial include Tramadol, Gabapentin and Amantadine.   It’s super important not to give human drugs to our pets, as they can cause illness or even death.

 

Source:  http://creatureclinic.com/arthritis-in-dogs/

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Arthritis in Dogs – 6 Ways to Ease the Pain – Part 5 Dietary Supplements

We found this wonderful article on Arthritis in Dog written by a knowledgeable vet Jo who is a veterinarian blogger.  Please go to her site to read more insightful articles:  http://creatureclinic.com/

Here is the fifth installment of 6 Ways to Ease Arthritis Pain in Dogs

Part 5:  Consider Dietary Supplements

So we’re mainly talking glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate.  You may have heard of them if you yourself or someone you know has arthritis, as many humans use these products too.  They are extracted from sea molluscs (such as New Zealand Green-lipped mussel), from shark skeleton, and from cattle.   They support that all important cartilage structure,  reducing further deterioration, suppressing inflammation, and reducing free radical damage.  An example of a veterinary product is Cosequin.  Products designed for humans can be bought over the counter, but are not all created equal, so it is worth discussing this with your veterinarian.

Omega-3 fatty acid (OFA) supplements may also be beneficial.  Rather than adding several fish oil capsules to your dogs meal every day, another way to get a great dose of  OFAs into your dog is to feed a diet that already has them built into it, such as Hills j/d.

 

Source:  http://creatureclinic.com/arthritis-in-dogs/

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Arthritis in Dogs – 6 Ways to Ease the Pain – Part 4 Orthopedic Dog Bed

We found this wonderful article on Arthritis in Dog written by a knowledgeable vet Jo who is a veterinarian blogger.  Please go to her site to read more insightful articles:  http://creatureclinic.com/

Here is the forth installment of 6 Ways to Ease Arthritis Pain in Dogs

Part 4 – A Comfortable, Padded Place to Sleep!

dog on sofa

I don’t mean a cell, although I do question Ani’s sanity on a pretty regular basis!

This one is pretty straightforward.  A bit of padding under stiff, sore joints can make things a lot more comfortable.  Memory foam beds are a good option as they mold and contour to your dog’s body, reducing pressure on those arthritic joints.  It’s also helpful if the bed is easy to get in and out of.  Sounds obvious, but it’s important that it’s not too high, too soft, or has sides that make it difficult to climb onto.

 

Of course we need to mention Buddy Beds Memory Foam Dog Beds.  These beds offer a patented sleep system that relieves the pain of arthritis by eliminating all painful pressure points.  See all our award winning beds at: www. BuddyBeds.com

 

Source:  http://creatureclinic.com/arthritis-in-dogs/

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Arthritis in Dogs – 6 Ways to Ease the Pain- Part 3 Shelter

We found this wonderful article on Arthritis in Dog written by a knowledgeable vet Jo who is a veterinarian blogger.  Please go to her site to read more wonderful articles:  http://creatureclinic.com/

Here is the third installment of 6 Ways to Ease Arthritis Pain in Dogs

Part 3:  Keep ‘em Cosy: Provide Shelter from Wind, Rain and Cold

wet dog

Particularly during cold weather, it’s so important to protect your dog from the elements.  Here in Melbourne we don’t get snow, but I know I wouldn’t want to be lying out in the open overnight during winter, even if I did have a nice thick fur coat.  Protection from rain is important, but we also need to realise that if the wind is blowing straight into the dog house, it’s going to be freezing in there.  Obviously the best place for a furry family member to be sleeping is inside, but if your dog sleeps outside, it’s up to you to ensure they are warm enough.  Check kennels regularly to ensure they are clean, dry and comfortable.

 Source:  http://creatureclinic.com/arthritis-in-dogs/

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Arthritis in Dogs – 6 Ways to Ease the Pain – Part 2 Moderate Exercise

We found this wonderful article on Arthritis in Dog written by a knowledgeable vet Jo who is a veterinarian blogger.  Please go to her site to read more wonderful articles:  http://creatureclinic.com/

Here is the second installment of 6 Ways to Ease Arthritis Pain in Dogs

 

Part 2:  Moderate Exercise.  Pull on Those Walking Shoes!

As you can imagine, lying around all day is not great for stiff, sore joints.  Moderate exercise is critically important.  The question is, what does ‘moderate exercise’ mean? Well the answer varies depending on the dog.  For my Border Collie, Anika, it’s a fairly brisk 40 minute walk every day.  During this time she happily trots along in front of me, baby and toddler, but if I ask her to do much more she starts to lag behind. Not bad given it’s her 12th birthday today! (Excuse me while I go and ugly cry for a bit, my baby’s getting old!)

walk with dog and kids

She doesn’t look a day over 5, right?…

Ok, tissues away, where was I..  For many other dogs, that sort of walk would be WAAAY too much.  Some may benefit just from ambling down to the mail box and back.  If you have access tohydrotherapy, some dogs (particularly those recovering from surgery) may really benefit from swimming or walking on an underwater treadmill.  The key is to watch them and recognize what they can do comfortably without overdoing it and ending up much more sore.  If you need some guidance with this your vet can help.  If you have a couple of steps your dog needs to navigate regularly and they are having trouble with, it’s pretty easy for someone handy to knock together a little ramp.

 

Source:  http://creatureclinic.com/arthritis-in-dogs/

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Arthritis in Dogs – 6 Ways to Ease the Pain – Part 1 Weight

We found this wonderful article on Arthritis in Dog written by a knowledgeable vet Jo who is a veterinarian blogger.  Please go to her site to read more insightful articles:  http://creatureclinic.com/

Here is the first installment of 6 Ways to Ease Arthritis Pain in Dogs

 

one

Part 1:  Maintain Appropriate Body Weight

Say NO to Portly Pups and Hefty Hounds!

If there is just one thing you can do for the well being and comfort of your dog, keep those numbers on the scales in the healthy range.  It’s just common sense that the greater the load on the joints, the harder they have to work, and therefore the more painful life is for the arthritic dog.  Work out the healthy weight range for your dog then get to work on achieving it.  Some very caring pet owners simply don’t realise that their dog is a little tubby, so here is a great body condition score chart fromWSAVA that provides a general guide.

Body-condition-score-chart-dogs

Download (PDF, 1.3MB)

My rule of thumb when examining a dog is that I want to be able to feel their ribs, but generally not see them protruding, and when looking down from above I want to see a nice waistline rather than a barrel shape!  A great resource for keeping dogs at a healthy weight is the fantastic Slim Doggy, where you will find dog food data, a calorie tracking app, and loads of helpful tips about feeding and exercise.  I highly recommend it.  You don’t have to be cruel to be kind, its just a matter of taking responsibility for your dog’s nutrition and getting everyone in the household on board.  It’s well worth the effort – remember, food does not equal love.

 

Source:Source:  http://creatureclinic.com/arthritis-in-dogs/

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Arthritis is Dogs – 6 Ways You Can Ease the Pain What are the Signs of Arthritis in Dogs?

We found this wonderful article on Arthritis in Dog written by a knowledgeable vet Jo who is a veterinarian blogger.  Please go to her site to read more wonderful articles:  http://creatureclinic.com/

 

What are the Signs of Arthritis in Dogs?

There are a lot of possible signs that your dog’s joints are causing pain.  Some of them are often mistakenly attributed to inevitable old age changes by owners.  If your dog is showing any of the signs listed below, make an appointment with your vet so you can work together to improve your 4-legged friend’s quality of life.

signs of arthritis in dogs

Source:  http://creatureclinic.com/arthritis-in-dogs/

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Arthritis in Dogs – 6 Ways You Can Ease the Pain What is Canine Arthritis?

We found this wonderful article on Arthritis in Dog written by a knowledgeable vet Jo who is a veterinarian blogger.  Please go to her site to read more wonderful articles:  http://creatureclinic.com/

Here is the first installment of 7 Ways to Ease Arthritis Pain in Dogs

 Arthritis in Dogs, What is it?

Arthritis in dogs, also known as osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease (DJD), is a very common degenerative condition of the joints in dogs.  There are actually a few different types of arthritis, but the focus of this article is osteoarthritis.  It tends to occur most commonly in the hip, elbow, stifle (knee), carpus (wrist), and intervertebral joints (spine), although it can raise it’s ugly head any place in the body where you have a joint and some cartilage.

arthritis dog

The most common sites of  arthritis in dogs

Arthritis can occur for a variety of reasons, including trauma, abnormal loads on joints, and congenital abnormalities like dysplasia.  Commonly it is simply due to wear and tear of the cartilage within the joints.  For this reason it tends to strike older dogs most frequently.  Cats are also afflicted, but tend to be better at hiding their discomfort.  I will discuss our feline friends in another post.

So cartilage is a lovely shock absorber, and when it’s damaged or absent, we end up with bones rubbing against each other, which is seriously painful (it makes me shudder just thinking about it!) and creates inflammation.

dog hips dysplasia arthritis

Osteoarthritis in canine hips

Of the four hips pictured above, only the one with the red arrow is normal.  See how the ball is lovely and round and sits nicely in the socket?  That dog’s other (left) hip is subluxated, which means it’s not sitting all the way in the socket.  Hopefully anyone can see that both of the hips in the right hand photo are flipping awful.  This is severe DJD.  The balls are no longer round at all and don’t sit in their sockets.  There are a lot of changes to the bone as a result of chronic instability and abnormal loads.  Interestingly (or frustratingly!) the changes we see on xray don’t always correlate well with the degree of discomfort the patient is in.  Sometimes fairly normal looking hips are painful, and while occasionally dogs with atrocious radiographs seem to get around pretty well.

dog elbow arthritis

Elbow osteoarthritis in a dog

Elbows tend to be a little more subtle than hips.  The one on the left is normal.  The one on the right is showing signs of arthritis, the most obvious of which I’ve pointed at with the red arrows.  It sort of looks like fluffy bone where there should be a nice smooth surface, and the easiest way to appreciate it is to compare to the normal one.

 

Source:  http://creatureclinic.com/arthritis-in-dogs/

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How to Live With a Pet Allergy Without Getting Rid of Your Pet

n-PET-ALLERGY-large570Allergies are the sixth leading cause of chronic disease in the U.S. and approximately half of all Americans test positive for at least one of the 10 most common allergens, including cat allergies, according to a profile from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) reports that about 15-30 percent of people with allergies have allergic reactions to cats and dogs. With more than 100 million pets in the United States this leads to high allergy morbidity as people are exposed to animal allergens when visiting friends and family or even in public spaces like schools and offices.

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Feeding your older pet for optimum health

feeding-older-petsAs our pets get older, their energy level goes down and they may seem to be eating a lot less than they used to. Older pets may develop illnesses that the pet didn’t have when he or she was younger. Their disrupted immune system predisposes them to maladies such as allergies, joint inflammation, infections, skin disorders and even allergies to foods that they have eaten their whole lives without problem. My dog Duke, who is now 13 years old, suddenly developed sensitivity to certain foods and now even a bite of that food gives him diarrhea and makes him lethargic for a day or two. I’ve decided this is a good time to learn more about feeding the older pet.

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