Arthritis, Arthritis-the dreaded stiffness in joints that seniors experience as they age.I certainly have noticed that getting up in the morning is a delicate, slow, maneuver .
What is arthritis and can it be prevented? Arthritis,or inflammation of the joints is a common problem, especially with large breeds, like the pointer. Arthritis can result in injury, infection, immune disorder, or simply wear and tear over the years. Arthritis occurs when the cartilage that cushions the ends of bones break down over time. With arthritis, the cartilage gets rough and wears away, exposing the sensitive bone underneath. Pain, inflammation and stiffness result. Arthritis can happen in any joint in the dog’s body. It is a progressive disease , in that it gets worse over time.
There are many causes of arthritis in dogs: The most common is DJD (Degenerative Joint Disease). Large breeds put more stress by virtue of size . Other causes
The symptoms of arthritis depend on the dogs age. A typical sign is a stiff or altered gait as the dog avoids bearing down on the affected limb. A dog with shoulder trouble will no longer be able to jump into the car. Symtpons are often worse when a dog gets up from rest.
Your veterinarian will complete an exam, X rays will confirm the disease,. CT scans and MRI’s are the standards for diagnosing joint problems .
Treatment will depend on the cause. Infections and inflammatory joint disease are treated with medication.Surgery can be indicated for joint injury . The majority of cases, treatment is first aimed at alleviating pain and slowing the progression of the disease.
Life Style Changes are Crucial for the Senior to alleviate pain
1. Weight Management
Keeping your dog slim decreases the strain on damaged joint
2. Keep your dog moving
Regular leash walks on soft surfaces improve arthritis , strengthens the muscles that support the joints. Swimming and treadmills are beneficial as well.
Make Life easier
1) Use Ramp when getting in and out of cars
2) Use Elevated feeders
3) Orthopedic beds are soft on the joints
4) Manage Pain-Check with vet to determine which medication is right for you
There is no cure for arthritis,but you can provide your senior with a good , happy quality of life .
Long Live Seniors!!
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