Arthritis In Dogs
How is arthritis effecting my dog’s life? What can I do to help my dog?
These may be some questions that you start to ask as your pet gets older and may start show symptoms of arthritis. Moving slower, struggling to get up from lying down and off and on lameness can be signs that your dog may be developing osteoarthritis. This is the type of arthritis that we can get as we age. As people we can let our doctor know what we are feeling and we can do something about it. Some of us take medication or use a cream. Dogs cannot do this, so as responsible owners we can contact our vet.
Options form your vet
Your vet has many options to help treat your pet’s arthritis, and oral medication such as an anti-inflammatory or glucosamine may be prescribed. There are new injectable medications that are working for some dogs that I have treated and of course, Massage Therapy can work wonders for your pet.
Non-medicated Options, or options that go along with medication!
Because massage therapy moves fluid around in the body, it can help move around the stagnant fluid in the joints which can alleviate some discomfort associated with osteoarthritis. A Canine Massage Therapist may choose to work on the muscles around the sore joints and do some passive movements of the joints (moving the joint through its range of motion without the dog using its own muscles) to help get the joint fluid moving.
Canine Chiropractic and acupuncture are also good options that you could explore! As an RMT, I always recommend that you use chiropractic and massage services in conjunction with each other. Massage helps to relax the muscles which makes skeletal adjustment last longer.
Gentle, slow paced walks are great for older dogs as they help keep the joint fluid moving, without too much strain on your pet.
Always talk to your veterinarian before trying any kind of medication for your pet, and to see if Massage Therapy can help your dog as they age.
Here is a good read on osteoarthritis in dogs! This article helps explain what is happening with your dog’s joints as they develop arthritis. Canine Osteoarthritis: Age Is Not A Disease