There are several causes of arthritis in dogs. It may be caused by misaligned joints when the dog was born or by an unfortunate accident. As I mentioned before, it may also be the normal wear and tear of joints as your dog advances in age. Whatever the cause is, the pain and suffering usually will not be apparent until your dog grows old. At this point, you should immediately seek senior dog arthritis treatment.
There are several treatment options available for a dog suffering from arthritis, but it’s first important what happens to your beloved pet dog with arthritis. Unfortunately, not a lot of studies have been conducted explaining this. What we do know is that there’s not much difference between how humans’ and dogs’ joints deteriorate over time.
Arthritis is known to be difficult to detect in older dogs, but it’s even harder to identify if your dog is large. Dogs of large breed tend to resist pain, and won’t manifest their pain until it’s quite severe. The same problem holds true for overweight dogs, because it can be difficult if their pain is caused by their condition or arthritis. This is precisely why going to the vet is even more necessary if your dog is either of the two.
Your veterinarian has learned to be a very good judge of the subtle signs that dogs give to tell us that they are in pain. It may be just a worried look in their eyes when the veterinarian overly flexes their joints. Or you pet may withdraw its leg, or even growl or snap. You veterinarian will probably ask you to lead your pet around the examination room so he/she can observe its gait and locomotion. Over their career, vets get very good at that. The veterinarian may notice that the major muscle masses of your pet’s legs and spine have shrunken (atrophied) due to disuse. Your pet may wince when areas of it spine are palpated.
But the key tests your veterinarian will perform are x-rays. Depending on how subtle the changes are, it may take more than a single x-ray film. X-rays of advanced arthritic joints are very distinctive. If you look at the hip and spinal photos of Hannah, at the top of this page, you can understand the changes your vet will see. Most veterinarians will set these x-rays up in the exam room and point out to you the important bone changes that they are seeing. (Read more Here)
Once the vet determines that your older dog suffers from Arthritis, he will make sure that your dog doesn’t suffer from any other health problems that will make the condition worse, such as hypothyroidism, Cushing’s diseases, and diabetes.
Do not administer any drugs to your dog, unless the vet says so. The traditional medication for arthritis is Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs, or NSAIDS, although it’s not as simple as just feeding it to your dog. NSAIDS can have serious side effects, especially to your dog’s digestive tract. Your dog might have diarrhea, characterized by dark-colored stool or worse, develop kidney problems.
There are several NSAIDs, but you should only choose the brand that your vet prescribes to you. Carefully follow the instructions of the vet regarding when to administer the drug, and what should be done before or after it. Observe any changes your dog might be going through before or after taking the NSAIDs. Most importantly, just let your dog feel that you’re there, and everything will turn out fine.