Dog Owner Challenge: How to Treat Dog Arthritis?

Dog arthritis is one of the most common dog problems and its owner will have to deal with it. Dog arthritis usually occurs in older dogs, but even younger dogs can suffer from the same, mainly because of genetics or unhealthy growth and development.

Bone Structure

In a dog’s body, there is a joint where two bones meet. At the joint, bones are covered with a thin layer of cartilage, and in-between the cartilages is a cavity filled with a substance known as joint fluid. It is this fluid that allows bones to slide over each other at the joint without wearing out as it provides lubrication.

How Arthritis Occurs

Several circumstances, like genetics, age or injury, may cause the cartilage covering a bone to change in structure, becoming thinner than usual. As a result, the bone becomes less smooth, leading to bones at the joints rubbing together every time your dog moves.

This causes further damage to the cartilage, something that is highly uncomfortable and painful for your dog. New bone called bone spurs starts growing on top and around the existing bone, leading to more contact between the bones at the joint. This limits movement and makes it more painful for your dog to make even the simplest of movements.

How to Detect Dog Arthritis

The most common joints which arthritis affects in a dog’s body occur in the following areas:

  • Hips
  • Elbows
  • Lower back
  • Knees

As a dog owner, you can detect arthritis by noting your dog’s movement. A dog may suddenly become uninterested in taking walks or even fetching. If his favorite spot to sleep on was in a high place, he might be unable to get up there. Sometimes a dog may release a deep groan before settling down on his haunches and experience difficulty when he has to get back up.

Some dogs repeatedly lick the area around the joint, which is hurting them, leaving a dark spot after a while. You should look out for this when handling your pet. Appetite changes, oversleeping, and soiling themselves are signs which are easier to observe and should prompt you to visit the vet.

How Arthritis is Diagnosed and Treated

Your vet may use a simple examination to test if your dog has arthritis. He might flex and stretch the joint suspected to be arthritic. The vet might also suggest more extensive tests like x-rays to locate the correct joint and even see what might have caused arthritis.

The underlying cause of the arthritis is mainly what determines the treatment method. Since arthritis leads to reduced movement by your dog, more weight is carried by ailing joints. As such, the vet will prescribe a therapy combination that will aid in weight loss and increase the range of movement to help the joints.

This may be through a change in the diet to increase the level of omega-3 fatty acid that reduces joint inflammation. Exercise and physical therapy may also be prescribed, like massage, stretching, cold, and heat therapy to increase your dog’s range of motion. Acupuncture may also be prescribed to relieve pain.

Your dog might also be prescribed medication that may span different timelines to provide immediate relief and treat the problem long-term. There are three main classes of medication used to treat canine arthritis:

Nutraceuticals are feed supplements prescribed to aid in healthy joint development. These supplements generally contain chondroitin and glucosamine, minerals that occur naturally in joint cartilage to boost this mineral content in the joints and decrease the growth of bone spurs. These can be used alongside other drugs without side effects.

Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) are another class of drugs that act as anti-inflammatories. These reduce the swelling in the joints affected by arthritis and are used to provide short-term relief for your dog. They are not to be used in the long-term as they can have serious health effects on your dog.

Cartilage protectors are prescribed to reduce damage wreaked on the cartilage by arthritis. They also aid in repairing the joints and may be prescribed for the long-term.

How You Can Aid In Canine Arthritis Treatment

Arthritic joints rarely recover entirely from the cartilage damage. The drugs prescribed may go a long way in providing relief for your dog, but proper home care is necessary for managing the pain. In addition to administering the drugs as prescribed, there are other things you can do to help your dog.

Comfort

Create comfortable resting areas for your dog that will not require gymnastics. Provide padded bedding in warm areas where your dog can lie on during the day. If there are raised surfaces inside or outside your home like stairs, get padding or a ramp. It will ease the slope and make it easier for your dog to move.

Carpeting is also essential to reduce the amount of bone-jarring your dog might experience when moving. Identify the slippery areas around your house and provide for nonskid flooring to prevent accidents.

Body Care

You can provide relief for your dog at home even when they are on medication. Massage the muscles to activate blood flow into the arthritic joints. Do it gently, avoiding pressing too hard on the affected areas. You can also place warm compresses over the joints to provide comfort. Take care that the compresses are not too hot in order not to scold your dog.

Diet

A proper diet is vital to keep your dog active and healthy without giving him too much extra weight. This is because your dog is probably making less movement, and his regular diet may be detrimental to his improvement.

Natural food is good, and the fresher it is, the better. Find foods that are anti-inflammatory like celery, coconut oil and ginger, and also foods that have antioxidant properties like alfalfa. Muscle-building foods like sweet potatoes are also great in rejuvenating your dog’s bones.

Exercise

Increasing the range of your dog’s movement is essential if they have arthritis. Some great ways to help your pet move around and put their joints into gentle use is swimming, game catch and walking slowly over short distances.

Stem Cell Therapy

Although there are many ways how to treat your arthritic dog, many of them don’t provide desired results in long-term. They only help to deal with pain or symptom suppression without preventing them or problem itself. Thereby, they are wasting your money and important time. While new and innovative Stem Cell Therapy can help to regenerate damaged tissues and not only help to prevent arthritis caused pain, but also symptoms and disease.

It will quickly get your dog back on its feet, save your money in the long-term and increase the quality of your dog’s life. Find out more about Stem Cell options for your dog here.

Final Words

Canine arthritis may not be completely treatable in most of the cases, but your dog can live a long and painless life if proper care is taken. Apart from getting the right professional help, you can help your pet even at home. This can involve simple, inexpensive methods that will go a long way in treating dog arthritis.

Why Contestants Spend Thousands of Dollars to Compete in National Dog show

Many people are wondering why national dog show contestants are willing to spend more than 250,000 dollars per year to compete. The reason for this concern is that most shows do not offer monetary rewards. In many cases, the total prize money that is awarded is a few dollars. A good case in point is the recent announcement by The National Dog Show that they would give out 20,000 USD in prize money. However, they failed to explain what each winner would get despite the expenses. 

The most substantial costs associated with dog showing are not specific to the actual competition. The price tag of travelling to out-of-town shows and hotel fees can force you to dig deeper into your pocket than you anticipate, especially if you are one of those dog owners who take to the road frequently. What if you spend many thousands and receive a few hundred dollars? The contests know these possibilities but are still more than willing to spend a lot of money to be able to compete. They have good reasons for this. Here are the top reasons they are ready to break the bank to participate in national dog shows.

Passion

If you are passionate about competing in these shows, nothing can stop you from spending a lot of resources and time to be able to be involved in the activities. For many of these people, they are not interested in any other thing other than seeing their own dogs on the stage. Many of them compare the experience of showing their dogs to the world by watching their own children compete with their fellows academically. As such, these people have a special connection with these animals.

Breed Awareness

National shows also provide dog enthusiasts with a practical purpose that can help them to achieve their own long-term objectives. How can they learn about the best dog breeds that are out there? When your particular breed gets the best recognition, the show helps to promote it. Thus, it increases public awareness. 

Extra Ordinary Experience

Dog shows offer everyone the opportunity to see extraordinary dogs from all around the world. After the 10th Annual prestigious Eukanuba World Challenge, the organization’s global marketing director, Richard Learwood, explained in detail how the well-received event had positively influenced the lives of the participants. He said that the event had successfully demonstrated to the world that it has always been about showcasing amazing dogs from all corners of the globe. 

What’s more, the competitors also believe there is nothing that can beat the feeling of a win. Dogs always come from all continents to be part of these experience-packed events. In this regard, tourists, competitors, and other people who want to enjoy themselves have all the reasons to be part of the national dog shows. 

Monetary Prizes

As we have seen, participating or winning the show is often not lucrative. In most cases, no participants get money. Nevertheless, there are also some people who are in the game to bag some prizes. If you win 20,000 dollars, you can settle some or all of the expenses and still get the other benefits as well. This way, the monetary rewards boost the participant’s desire to win the show. 

The Puppy Business

The shows fuel the high-dollar puppy business. As people learn about the business of the purebred dogs, the multibillion-dollar industry thrives. All the competitors know that other than the award winners, each of them has an opportunity to sell their puppies. The owners of large-scale breeding farms, pet store owners, auctioneers and others appreciate that purebred puppies will always be produced in large numbers following a high-profile win. This way, national shows have an indirect but significant impact on the entire global puppy business. 

The Bottom Line

Most dog shows do not award prize money, but that does not deter competitors from engaging in these events. They believe that taking part in it is still worth it. Other than being passionate, these people use the opportunity to learn about different breeds and promote their own too. Also, they enjoy a great experience and can make lots of money in the process if they like. Thus, if you want to participate in the national dog shows, move on knowing that the lack of lucrative monetary rewards is nothing compared to the ultimate experience and benefits that you stand to obtain.