Managing Your Dog's Degenerative Joint Disease
Have you noticed your dog having difficulty when sitting or lying down? If over time your dog's ability to play, run, or get up has decreased, this could be a sign of poor joint health. Unfortunately, damage and erosion of joint cartilage can cause your dog painful joints and inflammation, making it difficult for your dog to lead a normal life. Read below for simple ways to help ease your dog's joint pain and make everyday movements a little easier.
- Stiffness in limbs
- Lameness - not as motivated to play or exercise
- Reluctance to rise or climb stairs
- Biting or licking at the joints
- Increased sleeping
- Weight gain
Non-steroidal inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are commonly prescribed by many veterinarians to help ease joint pain associated with arthritis and after recent surgery.
Supplement your dog's diet with a supplement containing glucosamine and chondroitin. Glucosamine and chondroitin may help to promote joint support, protect joint cartilage, and alleviate pain.
Memory foam beds and heated pads are great for all dogs, but especially arthritic dogs because they contour to your dog's body and place extra support on pressure points.
At an early age, many dogs develop a bad habit of jumping up and down furniture, which can play a role in joint pain. Consider using dog stairs and pet ramps to help cushion your dog's joints as he or she climbs up onto furniture.
Although arthritic dogs may have difficulty moving, they still need exercise. Swimming is one of the best forms of exercises for arthritic dogs.