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The top 7 ways to treat arthritis in dogs

15 Feb, 2023
Dogs

If you're a dog owner, you know how much joy and love they bring to our lives. Unfortunately, our furry friends can also suffer from the same health issues that we do, including arthritis. This common joint condition can cause pain, stiffness, and limited mobility, making it difficult for dogs to do the things they love, like going for walks or playing fetch. The good news is that there are several ways to treat arthritis in dogs and help them live a comfortable and happy life. In this blog post, we'll be discussing the top 7 ways to treat arthritis in dogs, including red light therapy. So, whether you're a new dog owner or a seasoned pro, keep reading to learn more about how you can help your furry friend feel their best.

1. Diet and Exercise

A proper diet and regular exercise are essential for maintaining the overall health and well-being of dogs, especially those with arthritis. A diet that is rich in lean protein and low in carbohydrates can help to maintain a healthy weight, which can reduce the stress on joints.

Exercise is also important for dogs with arthritis, as it helps to maintain muscle mass and improve joint mobility. However, it's important to keep in mind that too much exercise can be detrimental for and can cause more pain and discomfort. It's best to start with short, low-impact exercises, such as short walks or swimming, and gradually increase the duration and intensity as your dog's condition improves.

It is also important to consult with a veterinarian or a professional dog physical therapist to design an appropriate exercise plan that can help your dog with arthritis. This way, you can ensure that your dog is getting the right type and amount of exercise to help them feel their best.

In addition, to diet and exercise, it's also important to keep an eye on your dog's weight, as being overweight can put extra stress on joints and exacerbate symptoms.

2. Supplements

Another way to treat arthritis in dogs is the use of supplements. Some supplements can be beneficial for dogs with arthritis, including glucosamine and chondroitin, omega-3 fatty acids, and green-lipped mussel.

Glucosamine and chondroitin are natural compounds that help to support joint health by promoting the growth and repair of cartilage. Omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish oil, can also help to reduce inflammation and improve joint mobility. Green-lipped mussel is a type of shellfish that has been found to contain compounds that can help to reduce inflammation and improve joint health.

It is important to consult with a veterinarian before starting your dog on any supplements, as they may interact with any other medications your dog is taking or may not be appropriate for certain medical conditions. The right dosage also needs to be determined by the veterinarian. Many supplements come in the form of chewable tablets or powders that can be added to food, making them easy to administer.

With the proper use of supplements, many dogs with arthritis can experience improved joint health and mobility.

3. Medications

One of the most common ways to treat arthritis in dogs is the use of medications. There are several different types of medications that can be used, including non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and corticosteroids. NSAIDs, such as Rimadyl and Deramaxx, work by reducing inflammation and pain in the joints. Corticosteroids, such as prednisone, also help to reduce inflammation but should only be used under the guidance of a veterinarian as they can have serious side effects.

It is important to note that these medications should only be given under the direction and supervision of a veterinarian, as they can have serious side effects if not used properly. These medications should also not be used long-term as they can cause other health issues.

Make sure to monitor your dog's response to the medication and report any side effects to your veterinarian, such as loss of appetite, vomiting, or changes in behaviour. With the proper use of medication, many dogs with arthritis can live comfortable and active lives.

4. Assistive Devices

Assistive devices such as mobility carts, harnesses, and ramps can be helpful for dogs with arthritis as they provide support and help them move around more easily. Mobility carts, for example, can help dogs who can no longer use their hind legs to move around, while harnesses can help dogs with arthritis in their front legs to walk more comfortably. Ramps can also be useful for dogs who have difficulty climbing stairs or getting into the car.

It is important to consult with a veterinarian or a professional dog physical therapist to determine the best type of assistive device for your dog's individual needs. Additionally, devices must be properly fitted and adjusted to your dog's body to ensure maximum comfort and mobility.

Assistive devices can be a good option to ease the pain and make the dog's life more comfortable. They can also help to reduce the stress on joints and improve mobility.

5. Physical Therapy

Physical therapy can be an effective way to treat arthritis in dogs. Physical therapy can help to improve joint mobility, reduce pain and inflammation, and maintain muscle mass. Techniques used in physical therapy for dogs with arthritis may include range-of-motion exercises, massage, heat and cold therapy, and ultrasound.

It is important to consult with a veterinarian or a professional dog physical therapist to determine the best physical therapy plan for your dog's individual needs. Physical therapy can be done at home, but it is recommended to work with a professional to ensure that the exercises are done safely and correctly.

Physical therapy is not only beneficial for the dog's physical health but also for their emotional well-being. It allows them to engage in regular activities that they enjoy, promoting a better quality of life. However, physical therapy is not a one-time fix, but rather a long-term commitment to maintaining and improving your dog's overall health and mobility.

Physical therapy can be a great addition to other treatments such as medication and supplements. Regular physical therapy sessions can help to manage the symptoms of arthritis and improve the overall quality of life for dogs with arthritis.

6. Red Light Therapy

Red light therapy, also known as photobiomodulation therapy, is a non-invasive treatment that uses low-level red and near-infrared light to reduce inflammation, pain, and stiffness in joints. The therapy is believed to work by stimulating the cells in the joints, promoting healing and reducing inflammation.

Red light therapy can be administered through a handheld device or a larger therapy lamp. The treatment is typically done twice a week for several weeks, and the length of each session can vary from a few minutes to several minutes depending on the size of the affected area.

Many dogs with arthritis have reported improved mobility and reduced pain after receiving red light therapy. It is a non-invasive treatment option that can be used in conjunction with other treatments, such as medication and supplements.

One popular product that can be used for Red Light Therapy at home is Photizo Vetcare, it is a handheld device that is easy to use, and it has been found to be effective in treating a wide range of conditions in dogs, including arthritis. It is a safe and effective way to treat arthritis in dogs and can improve the overall quality of life for dogs with this condition.

7. Hydrotherapy

Hydrotherapy is the use of water for exercise, rehabilitation, and therapy, it can be an effective way to treat arthritis in dogs. Hydrotherapy allows dogs to exercise with less stress on their joints, as the buoyancy of the water helps to support their weight. This can help to reduce pain, improve mobility, and maintain muscle mass.

Hydrotherapy can be done in a pool or a specially designed hydrotherapy tub. The treatment typically involves exercises that are done in the water, such as swimming or walking on an underwater treadmill.

It's important to consult with a veterinarian or a professional dog physical therapist to determine the best hydrotherapy plan for your dog's individual needs. Hydrotherapy sessions are typically done once or twice a week for several weeks.

Hydrotherapy can be a great addition to other treatments such as medication and supplements. It is a non-invasive and drug-free option for treating arthritis in dogs, and it can improve overall health and well-being.

In conclusion, there are several ways to treat arthritis in dogs, including medications, supplements, diet and exercise, weight management, physical therapy, acupuncture, and hydrotherapy. Each treatment option has its own set of benefits, and the best course of action will depend on the individual dog and the severity of their condition. It's important to consult with a veterinarian or a professional dog physical therapist to determine the best treatment plan for your dog.

It is also important to remember that arthritis is a chronic condition, and it's essential to maintain a long-term commitment to managing the symptoms and improving the overall quality of life for your furry companion. By incorporating a combination of these treatment options and working closely with your veterinarian or physical therapist, you can help your dog live a comfortable and happy life despite their arthritis.

Article supplied by Photizo

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