May 29, 2019 5 min read 0 Comments
As your dog ages, you may notice them having trouble getting up and moving in the mornings. There are several options when it comes to things that you can do for your dog to help with their pain and arthritis. An orthopedic dog bed is a great choice to help your dog with those achy joints and arthritic flare-ups.
Arthritis is a degeneration in the joints. This is seen in dogs as they age. The cartilage in the joint wears down until eventually, the two bones are rubbing on each other causing extra bony spurs. The pain and inflammation in these joints caused by the destruction of the joints are called arthritis. As any human suffering from joint pain caused by arthritis can tell you, it ranges anywhere from uncomfortable to extremely painful depending on the severity or progression of the arthritic build up in the joint. Think of it like when the brakes of a car are worn, and they start making a horrible sound. That sound closely relates to what it is like when the bones that meet in the joint start rubbing together. Except instead of an audible sound one experiences it in the form of pain.
Arthritis can affect a dog at any age. While most of the time arthritis is seen in older bigger dogs, young and small dogs can also be afflicted. Younger dogs with abnormal bone development can have arthritis at a much younger age. Certain breeds like Yorkshire terriers and Chihuahuas are predisposed to having an abnormality called, luxating patella’s (knee cap slides out of position). Most the time it will slide back into place on its own, but the constant action of sliding in and out of position causes arthritis build-up and can become very painful indeed. Hip dysplasia can cause arthritis in young larger breed dogs such as Great Danes and Mastiffs and is very common among German Shephards.
It is recommended because hip dysplasia is a genetic abnormality to have any breeding adults tested by a veterinarian before breeding. A series of radiographs will be performed to check for signs of hip dysplasia in the breeding adult. If it is found it is not recommended to continue with breeding.
There is also a type of arthritis that is caused by the immune system attacking the joints.
There are many symptoms of arthritis in dogs. You may notice your dog having trouble getting up and moving, especially in the mornings or after a long walk. Your dog may have a slight limp in one or more of their legs. Furthermore, your dog may not play or be as active as they once were. They can even have trouble maintaining the appropriate posture to defecate and or urinate. All these symptoms are possible signs of arthritis. If any of these symptoms are observed it is recommended to consult a veterinarian, as they can also be the signs for other serious diseases.
An orthopedic dog bed is a bed that is specifically designed to help a dog with arthritis or other orthopedic issues. These dog beds are recommended by many veterinarians for dogs with arthritis.
Orthopedic dog beds are usually made out of memory foam or other soft yet firm material. These are not the normal cotton stuffing that you normally seen in dog beds. These beds help decrease pressure points on your dog’s joints when they lay down. Since these are also a little stiffer it helps your dog to be able to stand up after laying down. It is much easier to stand up on something that also provides them support than something too soft and allows them to sink in without pushing them upwards. It is a common misconception that a softer bed will help arthritis. The truth is when something is soft it allows the heaviest part of the dog to sink, thus creating a misalignment of the joints resulting in pain.
There are veterinary products and holistic options that you can give your dog to help with the pain from arthritis. Many veterinarians will prescribe Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) or Steroid to help decrease the pain and inflammation. While these products are effective, they do come with unwanted side effects. Prolonged use of NSAIDs can result in kidney and liver damage so regular visits to the veterinarian are recommended especially if there are side-effects like vomiting or diarrhea that can be caused by NSAIDs.
What are some holistic options to try to help decrease the pain from arthritis in your dog?
Cannabidiol or CBD is derived from hemp plants. CBD acts on the endocannibals system to help decrease inflammation thus decreasing pain. Studies were done at Colorado State Veterinary School prove that CBD does in fact help decrease pain caused by arthritis. Unlike what many people think, CBD does not cause psychotropic effects as marijuana. This is a great option for pets with arthritis. In the study, a slightly elevated liver value known as Alt ( Alanine Aminotransferase) was observed but was considered negligible.
Before starting any regimen veterinary consult is always advised.
Coconut oil is a great source of Omega 3’s. Omega 3’s are proven to help your dog with pain and inflammation in the joints. This is a common supplement given to dogs as it has many added benefits such as helping with skin problems or other digestive issues. This one supplement can be given to your dog to help with many different problems.
This is a common cooking spice that can also help your dog's arthritis. Studies show that Turmeric helps decrease pain and inflammation. This is a holistic supplement that you can give to help your dog with arthritis as they age. You do not have to give them the same thing that you cook with, they have made dog treats that include turmeric in them.
Arthritis is a common, yet frustrating disease from which there is no immediate cure. There are many holistic options that you can give your dog to help decrease the pain and inflammation. There are also orthopedic dog beds that really help decrease the pain in your dog. With proper care and regular visits to the vet, your dog can still lead a very healthy and active life mostly pain-free. Arthritis can definitely get your pet down but with some love and care, you can give them a long and happy life.