Sosyolobi.com – Dogs can have arthritis too, I personally own a dog and I make sure that his health is well regulated. Whenever I see some changes in his activity, I always consult for a veterinarian’s advice or I research through the internet to gather some information about it.
However, as I was browsing in the World Wide Web, I have found out that dogs can have arthritis too, which at first I could not believe. I thought that humans are the only creature in the world that suffers arthritis or inflammation of the joints. Dogs can even have arthritis and if not prompted, they will eventually die from it.
Dogs Can Have Arthritis Too
Based on statistics, one out of five adult dogs in the United States of America is having chronic pain that veterinarians treat these days. Symptoms of such disease are difficulty sitting or standing; decreased interest in play, behavioral changes, stiffness or soreness of joints and increased number of sleep.
If a dog happened to have these symptoms, there is a great possibility that he/she is having arthritis. Consultation of the veterinarian is really an utmost important during this time to know the severity of the disease and the proper interventions for it.
Just like humans, the dog having a suspected arthritis will undergo physical exams and X-rays. When the results show a positive sign of arthritis, the veterinarian will advise the owner to have his/her dog take non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID’s) to inhibit the inflammation and minimize the pain experienced by the dog.
Aside from this maintenance drug, the owner will also be advised to provide the dog with a healthy diet and proper exercises.
Now that we know that dogs can acquire arthritis, we should be able to manage their health and make them live longer as possible.
As for my dog, I always make sure that he’s taking the right kind of food. Dogs need to be fed but they should have timely meal consumption so that he will not overeat and become obese, which is definitely a big problem in the long run. I also take my dog for a walk every day or play with him in the yard.
This activity is very helpful to him as it allows proper circulation of the blood and removes excess fats in his body.
Exercise is not only beneficial to my dog but also to myself as well. By providing him his needs and guiding him towards optimal health, there is a big chance that the dog will not acquire arthritis even as he age.
Prevention is better than a dose of treatment. Therefore, do something today and you will reap the positive effects later on. Never neglect to provide your furry best friend with tender loving care!
Dealing with Dog Arthritis
Older dogs usually develop a disease on their joints called canine arthritis. It is very similar to what humans get when they age. Canine arthritis comes about due to the thinning of the tissue between the joints which serves as a cushion. The absence or thinning of this tissue results to joint pains which is very painful and uncomfortable to dogs.
The disease becomes a major problem when your dog is used to being active and going around the house. It will be pretty difficult for them to take the stairs or to jump on the sofa or bed which they used to do.
Some owners just take steps such as carrying their dog upstairs or putting them to bed themselves to help their dogs cope. The problem is that pet owners would not be able to do this all of the time. They may not always be there to help their dogs get up or go through those stairs. So what should be the best option?
One possible solution is to make or buy bed stairs which are available at your local pet store. These stairs will be of great help to your pet dog as it will make it easier for them to go to their beds much easier. They are sometimes quite costly or may be a little big for the room but the benefits that you can derive from it will surely outweigh this disadvantage.
One other solution that you can do is to make a special bed for your dog. You would only need some pieces of wood, nails and some old rug and you’re done. You may need to use some plywood and soft cut wood in order to add to the comfort of the bed.
To make the bed, you will need a certain size of plywood depending on how large your dog is. You may need something about 3 feet long and 18 inches wide which will also serve as a ramp for your dog to walk on.
When you have this done, you will then have to put some mattress inside the box. You can also put some old rug on top and put it in place with a staple gun and staple that in place. The rug will actually provide some traction when your dog gets off the bed.
Some dog’s arthritis can also be easily coped with and you can ease some of the pain by making them learn how to use the ramp when going up or down the bed. You can use some treats to make them walk in it and after some time dogs will actually get used to it and use it regularly.
What Type of Dog Gets Arthritis?
Can you guess which dog has arthritis?
You may have guessed the Irish wolfhound, and that would be a good guess. Large breed dogs usually do fall victim to growth problems that can result in pain, limping and ultimately arthritis. You might have guessed the Labrador retriever, again a good guess.
The Labrador retriever is the most popular breed of dog in the United States. Their great nature and sporting build also put them at risk for future arthritis due to the high activity level some of them do as a sporting breed. They are also over-represented on the OFA Dysplasia list.
In a previous blog we discussed how dysplasia, (abnormal joint structure) can lead to pain, limping, swelling and arthritis. If you guessed the Jack Russell, you might also be right. Little dogs have a tendency to have a longer life span than the giant or large breeds.
As dogs age, very similar to people they are also plagued with difficulty getting up, stiffness, and pain of arthritis. Many little dogs do not show their symptoms of pain because they are carried around by their owner.
So which dog is the Stem Cell Dog?
The stem cell dog in this picture is Noah the Black Lab, who is owned by one of the veterinarians at Vet-Stem. Noah is celebrating his thirteenth birthday next month.
He was treated over two years ago, and stem cells have helped him keep up on 5 mile hill hikes with his housemates, Graham, the 4 year Jack Russell and Aislinn, the 10 month old Irish wolfhound puppy.
An Old Dog Learns a New Trick to Outsmart Arthritis
I have posted a lot recently about the benefits that older dogs receive from Vet-Stem cell therapy, so now I’d like to share an actual case with you. Maggie was adopted from a shelter at five months old. A Doberman mix, Maggie was an extremely active girl who reveled in long walks and car trips to new places with her mom and her dog-buddy Hopey.
By age nine, her go-go-go lifestyle had lead to ligament injuries in both knees, for which she had an orthopedic surgery called a TPLO (Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy). While the surgery was deemed successful, she still relied on medications to help her cope with pain as she aged.
Although not unusual for a dog her age, Maggie’s difficulty getting up after laying down and navigating stairs at 13 motivated her owner to seek a way of revitalizing her faithful friend’s spirit as well as her body.
In March of 2010, Dr. Scott Bainbridge of Dundas West Animal Hospital in Toronto performed the Vet-Stem procedure on Maggie, injecting both her arthritic knees and left shoulder with her own adipose-derived stem cells. Here’s what Maggie’s owner has to say:
“The thing I am the most pleased with about the stem cell procedure is seeing Maggie’s spirit come back. We often keep our dogs going longer than what might be right for them because we don’t want to say goodbye.
It seems like the stem cell procedure has given Maggie more time to enjoy a proud, happy and physically able life and, as a result, it’s given us more time to enjoy her, knowing she feels great and we are not asking too much of her. At 14 she’s one of those rare healthy dogs.
No one can believe her age especially now…post-stem cell procedure. If it weren’t for her white face and a tiny bit of early dementia (she stares at foliage from time to time!) she’s pass for 9.
I highly recommend the procedure to anyone with a dog like Maggie: older but not at all on her last legs. I suspect her legs will take her to the end of her days and that’s a nice way to leave this earth…able and proud. I love this dog and I have been blessed to share these years with her. It’s nice to see a friend smile again.
Financing Stem Cell Therapy for Your Dog’s Arthritis
You want the best for your companion when it comes to health care. Your veterinarian has recommended Stem Cell Therapy as the best treatment for your dog with arthritis. The pain from your dog’s arthritis has not been controlled very well with his regular pain medications and he just is not able to enjoy life.
He may be older, but clearly he has a lot of life to live! This is a common scenario and one in which you need to evaluate the costs and how to afford the best treatment. Luckily, there are now a number of great options to help with financing this treatment if you can’t just write the check today.
Always discuss the options available through your veterinarian and see what the clinic provides. Veterinarians are kind-hearted and want to see that your pet gets the very best of care.
- Pet Insurance. If you have a pet insurance policy, many will cover part or all of the stem cell therapy costs. If you do not have a policy, consider purchasing one for the future.
- Credit cards are the most available source of short term financing, but if not paid off before the next bill, the interest rates can be pretty high.
- Care Credit is a financing option that might be sponsored by your veterinarian’s clinic. They provide 0% interest and extended payment plans. Check out the “Provider Locator.”
- Citi Health Card is another option much like Care Credit where they provide lower interest rates and extended payment plans. Check out the “Find a Provider” page to see if your veterinarian participates.
- Payment Terms may be available from the clinic where they give you credit or possibly be willing to except future-dated checks that will be deposited over the term of the payments.
- Put on a fund-raiser for your pet. This is easier and more common than you might think! Just consider all the pet owners you know from the dog park, the groomers, or online. If you explain the serious need, you might get immediate help from your fellow pet parents.
Arthritis Pain Pet Medications
Sadly, there is currently no cure for arthritis. But there are medications that can help reduce the pain and help your dog live a more comfortable life.
If your dog begins to show signs of arthritis pain take them to the vet as quickly as possible.
Types of Medication for Dogs Suffering with Arthritis:
Anti-inflammatory medications such as Deramaxx, Rimadyl, Previcox, and Etogesic are often the first step in controlling pain. By reducing the inflammation they help lower the pain level. These drugs are especially designed for dogs and thus meet their unique requirements.
These dogs can be very expensive and it is always a good idea to get your dog a good pet insurance at a young age to protect you from these expenses later in life.
However, these medications can have an adverse side effect on some dogs. Your dog should be monitored to be sure the meds are not causing gastric ulcers, bleeding problems or liver or kidney dysfunction. Because these are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs they are called, NSAIDs for short.
Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen should not be used except under a vet’s guidance due to potential side-effects including gastric ulcers. They can help in reducing inflammation and are sometimes given to dogs in small quantities.
Buffered aspirin is also used as an anti-inflammatory and pain killer for dogs. This should NOT be used for cats. Aspirin can potentially cause gastric problems in dogs so they should be monitored carefully. Aspirin should never be used in combination with NSAIDs.
Steroids are also used to reduce the swelling and inflammation of joints. Some of the most often prescribed are Dexamethasone, Prednisone, and other corticosteroids. There is often a danger in long-term steroid use, though.
After a long period of use they can actually cause additional joint damage along with other problems. These medications can be given orally or by injection. Because of the threat of side-effects, these drugs are often only used on older dogs that cannot get pain relief through other ways.
Many types of medications can cause potentially serious problems. If your dog shows any side effects such as not eating, black stools, vomiting or diarrhea – talk to your dog’s vet immediately as he’ll want to stop or change medications.
Rarely will the use of only one drug be sufficient to help a dog suffering with arthritis. The most effective approach is a medication plan that is custom made for your dog. Do not mix medications without talking to your dog’s vet.
Adding supplements is another option but do not add even natural supplements without approval from your dog’s vet. Supplements will sometimes work against the medications your vet has prescribed.
Don’t let your dog continue to suffer with pain. Though pain meds can’t reverse arthritis, they can help your dog live a more comfortable life with less pain.
Dog Arthritis Can Be Cured!
It’s terrible to see an animal suffer, especially beloved pets that have been with us for years.
Pets are just like people – they are members of our family and have a consciousness of their own. They have personalities, they experience emotions, they feel pain and suffering.
Watching a dog struggle to get up from their bed, due to the pain of arthritis or hip dysplasia, can be a heartbreaking sight, so we’ve written this book to enable you to do something about it other than just to give your pet painkillers.
What you really want to do is intervene to help heal the condition, and that’s where holistic, complementary therapies come into play and really shine.
When an animal has pain or difficulty while walking, it could be due to a variety of different causes. The only way to begin treatment to help an animal is to first find the cause by obtaining a proper medical diagnosis.
Arthritis is typically the most common problem seen in older dogs that have trouble walking, but other conditions can also cause lameness. The possibilities are as diverse as bone infections, cysts, tumors, fractures, torn ligaments (cruciate injuries in the knee), spinal problems, and joint instabilities (such as in hip, shoulder, and elbow dysplasia or osteochondritis).
The first step to helping your dog when they are in pain or limping is to obtain a proper diagnosis of their condition. You want to avoid a common situation where a pet is treated for a very long time, with potentially harmful therapies, because of an improper, incomplete diagnosis.