Arthritis can affect dogs at any age but is most likely to occur with age. As the weather gets cooler it may become more noticeable.
The good news is there are many things that can help dogs with arthritis nowadays (probably more options than people have). There are 3 things that you can do at home to help your dog. There are many more things that we can help with at Dandenong Ranges Vet Centre.
Some of the signs that your dog may have arthritis are:
The Top 3 Things you can do to help your dog are:
This above all else will help your dog. If your dog is 30kg, by reducing his weight to 27 kg (10%) is the equivalent of an average person losing 8-9kg! You should be able to feel the ribs easily with light pressure over the sides of the chest. Our nurses can check your dog's current weight and body condition score and advise your dog's ideal figures for FREE.
Minimizing the amount of stairs he needs to use (ramps are much better) can greatly help. Allowing access where there are no stairs (even if it is a much longer route) will greatly help. Bedding should be easy to get into and out of with firm footing (place some foam under a suspension bed) or place the bedding on the floor with lots of blankets over a non-slip mat. Ensure the dog door is easy to get in and out of without having to jump or squeeze through it.
Keep your arthritic dog moving. Frequent short walks are better than long walks. Try to go to places that are reasonably flat (you might have to go off the mountain if you live in the Dandenong Ranges). Areas like Lilydale Lake, Birdsland Reserve or Kalorama Oval are ideal (try to stay around the top of the Olinda Golf Course).
There are numerous new treatments available that can help your dog as well. We may advise x-rays, blood tests or ultrasound to determine the extent of arthritis or rule out other problems that can cause similar symptoms (like heart disease, cancer, conformational problems, dislocated hips or kneecaps, minor fractures, etc). Some of the treatments we use to help dogs with arthritis include:
Ultimately, take action early to help your dog. The sooner therapies are started the better the chances are to relieve your dog's symptoms of arthritis.Dr Moss
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