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Seniors with Arthritis

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

  • Injury . Injured joints may become chronically unstable, causing wear and tear to cartilage and other joint structures
  • Congenital joint problems, hip dysplasia, luxating patella. This is when joints develop abnormally.
  • Infection (Lyme Diseases,septic arthritis) Most often in human not in dogs, however there have been occurrences of this disease in dogs. This occurs when the animals own immune system attacks the joints, leading to arthritis

Symptoms

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.

Diagnosis

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

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

Other Remedies

1) Acupuncture

2) Hydrotherapy

3) Swimming

There is no cure for arthritis,but you can provide your senior with a good , happy quality of life .

Long Live Seniors!!

Alternative Treatments

Acupuncture

Hydrotherapy

Pet Masseuse

Laser Treatment

>>>>> More to Follow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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