Monday, January 7, 2013

Arthritis and joint disease in dogs

Arthritis and joint disease is common in dogs. Osteoarthritis affects one in five dogs and this can be young dogs as well as old. Certain breeds seem to be more susceptible than others to various joint problems with larger breeds suffering more than smaller ones due to increased pressure and weight on their joints.
Joint disease can lead to degenerative arthritis which is painful and crippling. Possible joint problems include patella luxation, hip dysplasia, ruptured cruciate ligaments and joint trauma. Symptoms of joint trauma and degenerative arthritis include varying degrees of lameness, stiffness and joint pain which is often more obvious in the mornings and getting up after sleeping. As with humans the cold and damp worsen the symptoms and it gets worse over time. Some dogs can become miserable and show behavioral changes as they become more uncomfortable. 

Whilst there is no cure for arthritis and joint disease there are measures you can take to help ease your dogs pain and slow the worsening of the disease down. The dog should be a good weight, being overweight will put too much pressure on the dogs joints so ideally the dog should be its average weight and not on the large side. In order to do this ensure your dog is eating the correct amount of food, if need be you can get special diet foods. Exercise is important in moderation, too much will put too much pressure on the dogs joint so two short walk are ideal. Swimming is a great way for your dog to get exercise without putting pressure on their joints so a nearby pond/lake is ideal. Try and not allow your dog to jump as the sudden impact is not good for joints. 

As well as diet and exercise there are a number of great supplements you can give your dog to help ease pain and reduce inflammation in the joints. Trocoxil is an anti inflammatory containing the active ingredient Mavacoxib. It works by inhibiting the enzyme that helps create the inflammation. This is a fairly new medication which is less frequent then most as it is only a monthly tablet. 

Carprieve is another anti-inflammatory pain relief used for chronic conditions such as osteoarthritis. It can also be used to help post operative recovery. This tablet is available unflavoured as well as flavoured as well as in chewable tablets.  

Rimadyl is another medication that is available. It is a daily dose and helps relieve pain and reduce inflammation, it is good post surgery and for chronic conditions.

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