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Arthritis basically means “inflamed joints”, and it can affect dogs as often, and in the same way as it affects humans. It is more common in older dogs, and large or overweight dogs are more susceptible to it because their extra weight causes more wear and tear on their joints. Some cases of arthritis are related to genetic conditions, such as hip dysplasia.
No matter how your dog develops arthritis, it will hurt. They won’t be able to move around as freely as usual, and they may start to limp in one or more legs. Fortunately, there are a range of medications that can help with arthritis, and make your dog more comfortable.
Carprofen and meloxicam are medications that fall into the non steroidal anti-inflammatory group of drugs. They are very effective at controlling pain and relieving swelling and inflammation. However, they do have side effects. Gastric ulcers are the most common side effect of these drugs, but they may also affect your dog’s kidneys.
Many dogs respond very favorably to natural arthritis treatments. Industry standards such as glucosamine, chondroitin, fish oil, and green lipped mussel extract all have powerful anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties. The beauty of these treatments is that there are no real side effects. However, not all dogs will respond well to them, so they still may need some medication to make them comfortable.
Another natural therapy that can help with arthritis is acupuncture. This ancient Chinese therapy has been seen to be effective in many dogs, again with no side effects at all.
Finally, if your dog is overweight, they will benefit greatly from weight loss. There will be less stress on their sore joints, and they’ll also need less medication. If they are too sore to walk far, think about hydrotherapy and swimming. It’s non weight bearing but still an effective way to lose those pounds.
In Summary – There’s no need for your dog to suffer the pain of arthritis. Your veterinarian will be able to develop a treatment protocol for your dog that works for them, and helps them enjoy life to the fullest.
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