to the dog arthritis resource center
What dog arthritis is, how it forms, and how you
can treat it
is Dog Arthritis?
arthritis (degenerative disk disease) is a disease in which joint
cartilage deteriorates, resulting in surfaces that are supposed
to glide over each other but become rough wheras lubrication within the
joint is decreased. Movement is more difficult and often painful.
The signs of arthritis in a dog are: difficulty in walking (such
as limping or a stiff, slow, or ungainly gait) difficulty in getting
up from a seated or lying position; difficulty climbing stairs;
a creaking, crackling, or "ratcheting" sound in the joints;
an overall decrease in mobility; an unwillingness to move and dragging
the back legs so that the tops of the nails scrape the floor. Dogs
who are experiencing the pain of arthritis also may become "snappish"
if they are touched in the wrong place or made to move when they're
not ready. They experience arthritis pain just as humans do.
Do You Know When Your Dog has Arthritis?
you notice any of the following signs, your dog may be suffering
to walk, climb stairs, jump, or play
behind on walks
rising from a resting position
in pain when touched
to Effectively Treat Dog Arthritis
can help your dog's arthritis in the following ways:
your dog a reasonable amount of controlled exercise -- that is,
the kind of exercise that does not overtax joints, but that helps
maintain overall mobility and flexibility
control your dog's weight... the lighter they weigh, the less
strain they will have on their load bearing joints
an early diagnosis and recommended therapy -- which means taking
your dog to the vet for a definitive diagnosis and recommendations
on exercise program, nutrition and diet, medicinal treatment,
your dog a high quality liquid glucosamine formula like Syn-flex.
Dog arthritis can sometimes be halted or prevented by surgery when
x-rays indicate joint malformations. If surgery is not indicated
or advisable, relief can be achieved with painkillers, glucosamine,
exercise, rest, and diet. However, even over-the-counter painkillers
should not be used without the advice of a veterinarian.
common pain relievers for canine arthritis include:
(carprofen): A NSAID which has been effective in treating the
pain, however has very serious and potentially fatal side effects
(polysulfated glycosaminoglycan)(5) given by injection twice each
week for four weeks
a buffered aspirin specifically for dogs
these above medications have very dangerous side effects and in
the case of Rimadyl, potentially fatal ones. Furthermore, the painkillers
above only treat the pain, but do absolutely nothing to treat the
disease of arthritis itself. We highly recommend that anyone with
a dog who has arthritis or hip dysplasia, be given glucosamine
is an amino sugar produced from the shells of chitin which produces
molecules called proteoglycans and glycosaminoglycans. In turn,
these molecules stimulate the production of synovial fluid, which
is the substance that lubriates your joints and ensures cartilage
does not deteriorate.
has been shown in numerous studies to be very effective in the treatment
for dog arthritis. However, the type of glucosamine product is very
important. It is very important to have a pharmaceutical quality glucosamine
product, and one that is delivered in liquid form with a number
of other ingredients like chondroitin, boswellin, bromelain, and
omega 3 and omega 6.
reviewing all of the glucosamine products available for arthritis
in dogs, we recommend a product called Syn-flex®. More information
on this product can
be found here.
also plays an important part in arthritis treatment, especially
to control the patient's weight. Excess weight causes more stress
on the joints and exacerbates existing arthritis pain. In large
breed dogs, periods of rapid growth can lead to development of
OCD and joint dysplasia if the underlying genetic code is present.
Special attention should be paid to the diets of these puppies
to prevent too-rapid weight gain.
drugs, surgery, or both are indicated in arthritis treatment, owners
should make sure their pets get plenty of rest and are not asked
to perform painful exercise during treatment and recuperation.
Veterinary advice in the matter of exercise should be followed
even though it may seem that the recovery is slow. Ultimately,
the type and duration of exercise will have to be restricted to
reduce the pain as much as possible.
on arthritis in pets can be found in our Dog
Arthritis Resource Center
Guide to Glucosamine Products for Pets
More information on easing arthritis in humans with glucosamine
can be found in our Glucosamine
Dog Arthritis Chronicle