Did you know that as many as percent of dogs develop arthritis? This is more common in seniors, but any pooch can develop arthritis, and at any point of his life. This painful condition tends to progressively get worse over time. While it can’t be cured, there are ways to manage it and help to reduce your canine pal’s pain and stiffness. A Newburgh, NY vet offers some advice on caring for Fido below.
Extra weight isn’t good for any dog, but it’s particularly problematic for pups with bone and joint issues. Fido’s bones and muscles are already strained: carrying extra weight around will only exacerbate the issue. Keep your four-legged buddy at or near his ideal weight.
You’ll need to take care not to overexert your canine companion. However, don’t let Fido become a couch potato! Dogs need regular activity to stay strong and keep off extra weight. Most pups need at least a daily walk, though you’ll want to ask your vet for specific advice.
Supplements won’t cure arthritis, but they can help. Glucosamine and Omega 3 and 6 oils are often recommended for arthritic pups. Ask your vet for specific advice on this.
Nail clippers may be small, but they can be a pretty powerful weapon in the fight against arthritis. If your furry buddy’s nails are too long, they’ll change the angle of Fido’s toes against the earth, which in turn puts additional strain on his joints. Plus, this will make it harder for him to get good traction.
We also can’t overstate the importance of getting a good doggy bed. A thin pad won’t provide much cushion for Fido, and may make him even more stiff and sore. Orthopedic beds and raised hammock-style beds are good bets. Your canine buddy may appreciate a heated bed in winter.
Fido may need to come in a bit more often, so his condition can be closely monitored. You’ll also want to talk to your vet about various treatments. Alternative therapies, such as herbal medicine, can be very helpful in treating arthritis. Your vet will be able to offer specific options after a proper diagnosis has been made.
Do you have questions about your dog’s health or care? Contact us, your Newburgh, NY animal clinic, anytime!