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Wednesday, March 25, 2020

How to Recognize and Treat Arthritis in Your Furry Friend

Prevalent in older dogs, and especially larger breeds, arthritis can seriously affect the life of your pet. It's an unfortunate by-product of growing old, as it is in humans. It can be hard to watch your dog struggling with activities they used to find comfortable and fun.

That said, there are ways to recognize the symptoms early and help treat and slow the development of arthritis in your dog.

How to tell if your dog is developing arthritis:

When you're spending time with your dog, keep an eye out for these behaviors, which may signify they are beginning to develop arthritis.

1.      Avoiding activity
If your dog begins experiencing arthritic pain or discomfort, they will likely try to avoid any strenuous activity. They may not want to go on walks or runs, may stop playing with toys, and will even try to steer clear of going out for the bathroom. You might see them avoiding stairs and struggling to stand up.

2.      Moody and vocal
When you notice an adverse change in your dog's mood, it could indicate they are experiencing joint pain. They might get vocal with you if you try to touch them, or even snap at you. You'll likely hear them making all sorts of noises, including groans and growls.

3.      Changes in the body
If your dog starts putting on some extra weight or losing muscle mass, arthritis could be the culprit. Since they aren't as active, and usually just laying down, it can cause them to begin gaining weight. You may also notice their posture changes and then start to hunch or favor one limb to lean on.

These can all be red flags that your dog may be developing arthritis. That said, never self-diagnose since they could also indicate other problems. Always take your dog to the vet if you're concerned.

How to treat arthritis in your dog:

Once you're aware that your dog is beginning to develop arthritis, here are some ways in which you can manage it and help make their quality of life as pleasant as possible.

1.      CBD
One of the biggest problems associated with arthritis is inflammation of the joints. CBD is an anti-inflammatory that can help to loosen their seized up bones and therefore reduce pain. With reduction of pain, your dog will be more likely to get moving again which can help them avoid putting on extra weight. You can even get CBD-infused dog treats from CeeBeeDoo that they will love.

2.      Hydrotherapy
Swimming is a great way to keep your dog's body moving without the pain and pressure caused on joints from walking. The water is soothing on their muscles and allows them to float and not have to exert much effort. Moving is essential to keep everything lubricated, so hydrotherapy can be extremely beneficial.

3.      Massage
Like with humans, massage is a great way to release tension in your dog's muscles. It also gets the lymphatic system moving, which can help with toxin elimination. It will feel good and help your dog relax. When massaging, make sure to avoid putting pressure directly on the joint and instead gently massage the area around it.

Just because your dog may develop arthritis doesn't mean their quality of life has to reduce. By identifying it and implementing treatments, your dog can still enjoy a happy and healthy existence.
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