Bluewaters – Spotlight on Arthritis

As pet owners suffering with the same condition themselves will know, arthritis is a painful, debilitating condition that limits every day activities with the soreness that it can cause.

Symptoms – Signs that your dog could be suffering with arthritis..

  • Limping – particularly soon after getting up from rest or after exercise.
  • Reluctance to exercise – unwillingness to go for walks.
  • Mood changes – irritability, growling and being snappy.
  • Muscle wastage – muscle loss due to decreased exercise.
  • Licking and biting – nibbling at areas of soreness.
  • Appetite changes – loss of appetite
  • Weight gain – from inactivity.

Diagnosis

If your dog is displaying any of these signs and/or you have other reasons to be concerned please consult your dogs vet. Your vet will be able to listen to what you have observed with your dog and give them a head to tail health check. Your vet will be particularly looking for heat, swelling and focussing on areas of discomfort. The possibility of X-Rays and other diagnostic tools can be looked at.

Treatment – 

Unfortunately in most cases arthritis is progressive and irreversible, however the good news is that there are many ways to keep your dog more comfortable in order to maintain a good quality of life.

Supplements – Pet stores and online retailers offer a range of powdered, granular and capsule type supplements. Brands we recommend are: Yumove and Joint Aid for Dogs.

Canine Hydrotherapy – Swimming in warm water in a controlled environment with a qualified hydrotherapist can ease the symptoms of arthritis and build muscle to help support weakened joints. Talk to your dogs vet about a referral to Bluewaters Canine Hydrotherapy Centre.

Canine Physiotherapy – A qualified physiotherapist can asses your dog and give a guide to techniques that you can use at home to make your dogs life easier whilst living with the condition. Other techniques that can be offered include massage and laser therapy. Your dogs veterinary practice may offer physiotherapy or you can ask for a referral to Bluewaters Physiotherapy Clinic.

Veterinary Prescription Medicine – Acute symptoms can be eased with medication from your dogs vet either orally (liquids/tablets) or through a course of injections at the practice.

Surgical Options – In severe cases your dogs vet may discuss surgical options such as arthroscopy and joint replacement.

Weight Management – Extra pressure on joints through being overweight can be aided by offering a well maintained diet. The less weight being carried will mean your dog will be able to move more freely. The best way to gauge weight control is by visual checks and feeling over your dog. If you are unsure please ask about weight management clinics at your dogs vet.

Adaptations to your home – You can make your dogs life more comfortable by offering a well cushioned bed (memory foam and orthopaedic mattresses for dogs are available). If your dog has continence issues we recommend the Wet Dog Mat which wicks moisture aware from the dogs skin as they sleep. Covering slippery laminate/tiled floors with rugs, mats and runners will give your dog better traction. Using ramps to get up steps and into the car mean less stress is put through joints.

We hope that you have found this article informative. If you have any questions regarding your dogs treatment please speak to your dogs vet. If you have any questions about canine hydrotherapy or physiotherapy treatment please contact Bluewaters by calling 01299 252570.

Article – Copyright Bluewaters 2017