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Joint Problems In Dogs – Here’s Your Way Out!

Two or more bones meet at a joint. This translates the fact that a lot of activity goes on down there, including movement, weight support, etc. Joints support the skeletal structure of any living animal. In dogs, however, some joints might be more delicate and sensitive that the others but they all require enough care to prevent health developmental and degenerative problems.

Developmental problems and Degenerative problems are the two most common groups of dog joint problems.

Developmental problems include hip or elbow dysplasia, where the joint does not develop correctly in a number of different ways. Genetic factors, as well as environmental factors also, play a role in the development of dysplasia including diet, weight gain, and exercise.

On the other hand, the most common degenerative type is arthritis. It is more commonly seen in older pets from years of wear and tear on the joints. This condition can affect any joint in the body such as the shoulder, elbow, knee, hip, and back.

dog joint care

Symptoms of joint pain in dogs

Without your vet running tests and giving you a comprehensive report on your dog’s health, these signs make it pretty clear that your dog has some joint related problems.

Seeing as their bodies literally rest on joints, as it is in humans, any movement of any sort would be really difficult for your dog, and you can see that it’s in pain. That’s a wake-up call. However, it might also translate that your dog’s tired which coincidentally is a condition that is often spotted in older dogs.

These symptoms of dog join pain are more specific;

  • When your dog starts doing less or having more difficulty with common activities that usually doesn’t pose a challenge, you should have your guards up and be more observant o your dog’s health. Difficulty in movement, especially when they have to get up or lie down also suggest the same approach. In other cases, stiffness after getting up also calls for the same attention
  • Dogs don’t just hold their limbs up for long periods of time or in a funny way, they do so to ease the pain on that limb, or to rest it. This also translates as one of the signs that it's having problems with a part of its legs. However, if there are no physical injuries, the best guess is a joint related problem.
  • Swollen joint: This always looks obvious enough. You don’t need a doctor to tell you that a swollen joint means trouble.

If any of these signs have been noticed in your dog, the first line of action should be to see your vet. However, as much as the knowledge of the treatments of dog joints might not be a necessity, it's important. Administering first aid treatment to your dog in the event of an injury is one of your major responsibilities as a dog owner.

Treatments for dog joint pains

Treatments of joint problems are typically divided into surgical and non-surgical treatments depending on the magnitude of the joint damage. Surgical treatment as the name implies involves the operative cleaning of a joint all the way up to total joint replacement. This method is expensive and laborious and should only be sought when all other options have proven futile.

On the non-surgical method, there are several approaches that can be taken, namely;

Physical therapy:

This entails professional, scientifically based programs with licensed vets seeing to your dog through the programs. The therapy can include underwater treadmills, ultrasound therapy, and electric stimulation. All the methods that have to do with human physical therapy apply to dogs as well.

- Exercise:

Regular, low-impact activity such as swimming or dog walking will help reduce the pain in your dog’s joint. It will also lead to increased tendon and muscle strength. You also don’t need a medical condition before incorporating this into your dog’s daily or weekly activities, depending on what’s fitting.

- Home Care:

Massages and warm compresses can greatly ease your dog’s discomfort and relieve him of some pains. Provide a warm, soft, dry place to him to sleep too. Rests accompanied with exercises also go a long way in maintaining your dog’s health, and helping cure health-related issues in a broader sense.

Medications: 

This is another way to help ease your dog pain from joint issues. Your veterinarian will recommend dog joint care medications to you based on what is going on and your dog's health history. Some of these medications include;

NSAIDs:

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, help reduce swelling, stiffness, and joint pain in humans and they can do the same for your dog. They basically help reduce pain for dogs. This type of dog joint care medication can bring relief to a dog with arthritis, or one who's just had surgery. NSAID for dogs includes carprofen, deracoxib, firocoxib, meloxicam, etc.

This dog joint care medication type is safe but has a few side effects which might include digestive problems. Be sure to inform your veterinarian if any side effects of manifests on your dog.

Supplements:

This is another method of dog joint care medication. They include glucosamine and chondroitin, which are very popular alternative treatments. They may make swelling go down and help cartilage repair itself. New dog joint care products now combine these elements with strong painkillers to ease recovery more than before.

Supplements work better when used with other methods of non-surgical management or the post-operative management. It can slow down the process of osteoarthritis in dogs. They help to nourish and repair the cartilage in joints too.

Conclusion:

There are numerous conditions affecting the bones and joints in dogs. Make sure to discuss with your veterinarian whether your dog needs a non-steroidal drug or a supplement, if she needs to lose weight, and what exercises are best. There are many treatments and dog joint care products on the market that your veterinarian can prescribe to help your dog.

Also, vets have seriously warned against un-prescribed medication and mixing of drugs for pain relief or for a cure. It’s completely unacceptable and bears too muck risks than to be worth it.

The vet’s way is the best way.

About the Author Paul

Hey, I’m Paul and I LOVE Pet. Coming from a vet background,I have decided to start an Authority site to teach you all you need to know about pets.

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