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Why does arthritis hurt my dog?
Arthritis is a common concern for a number of animals, and dogs are no exception. If you or a family member has suffered from osteoarthritis, you probably know that it can be extremely painful and makes moving around to complete your daily activities difficult.
The most common type of arthritis in dogs is osetoarthritis. This is a form of the disease in which the bones are damaged because the cartilage has given way. As a dog ages, the cartilage may dry, roughen or chip, allowing the bones in the joint to rub up against each other.
Since bones do not naturally rub against each other, the friction causes them to flatten out and lose resilience, and the joint jerks and creaks instead of moving smoothly. The body responds to this by sending white blood cells to the site. However, instead of healing the issue, these cells release enzymes and free radicals that make the inflammation and pain worse. The enzymes from the white blood cells damage the synovial fluid that lubricates the joint and keeps it moving smoothly. The inflammation that ensues from all of this leads to the pain of arthritis.
Understanding how osteoarthritis causes your pet pain may make it easier to treat it. Supplements can make a huge difference in restoring the cartilage. Look for pet products like Dasuquin or Cosequin, since these both have chondroitin and glucosamine for dogs. These ingredients are naturally occurring in your dog's joints, so by giving the supplement, you are just giving the dog's body an extra boost.
If your dog's arthritis is already advanced, giving pet drugs like Metacam might help. This is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicine, so it is good for treating the pain and inflammation that arthritis can cause. Because it is a liquid, it can be added to pet food or administered directly into your dog's mouth.
It is also never a bad idea to make some lifestyle changes to benefit your dog's joints. Pet products like the Thermo Heated Dog Bed might feel nice on achey joints, while a Deluxe Orthopedic Dog Bed will offer plenty of support for joints, reducing the aches and pains associated with arthritis. Switch out your pooch's regualr chews for Greenies JointCare Dog Treats to give it an extra dose of glucosamine, chondroitin and omega-3 fatty acids.