Signs of Arthritis in Dogs & How to Help
This post is written by our holistic veterinarian at "I and love and you", Dr. Angie Krause, DVM, CVA, CCRT
Arthritis is inflammation in joints that can cause pain and sometimes swelling. It can occur when the joints don’t form correctly, if they are injured, infected or overused. One in four dogs will be diagnosed with arthritis in their lifetime. Arthritis can affect any breed or age of dog but is more commonly seen in senior dogs.
Sign of Arthritis:
- Stiffness that is worse after laying down
- Swelling of joints
- Reluctance to go up and down stairs
- Trouble getting in and out of the car
- Avoiding play and walks
How to Help Your Dog with Arthritis
If your dog has been diagnosed with arthritis, or you suspect your dog has arthritis, there are many safe and effective therapies available. Work with your veterinarian to help you decide which therapies may be the most effective for your pup.
Here are my favorite and most successful approaches when treating arthritis in dogs:
- CBD. Hemp derived CBD can be a natural and effective remedy for arthritis. My favorite brand is HempRx. For large dogs I use HempRx Forte and for small dogs I use HempRx. You can check out my dosing chart here.
- Glucosamine/Chondroitin. These joint supplements can help prevent damage to joints and can reduce inflammation. I recommend Glycoflex III as a base supplement. Adding treats with glucosamine like Hip Hoppin Hearties is a great way to get an extra punch of arthritis fighting ingredients in a tasty treat!
- Fish oil. Omega fatty acids decrease inflammation and are great for overall health. I use Ultra EFA in combination with Super Smarty Hearties to give my canine patients an extra boost of omegas.
- Exercise. It’s important to keep dogs with arthritis moving. Short walks, physical therapy exercises, and swimming are great ways to keep your dog’s joints lubricated and mobile. Exercise also helps keep your dog’s muscles strong to support joints.
- Weight loss. Keeping your dog trim and slim can make it easier for them to keep moving. Extra weight, even a couple of pounds, can significantly increase pain of arthritis. I keep my patients as thin as possible without sacrificing muscle mass.
- Acupuncture. This therapy uses the insertion of small needles to help improve circulation and decrease inflammation. Most of my pup patients tolerate acupuncture and enjoy the benefits.
- Massage. Canine massage can help increase circulation and decrease pain in muscles that compensate for painful joints. You can hire a professional therapist or massage your dog at home.
- Chiropractic. Many of my patients find a tremendous amount of relief with chiropractic care. Both veterinarians and chiropractors can become certified to adjust animals. Find a gentle practitioner with ample experience with dogs.
- NSAIDs. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can be game changing to reduce pain and inflammation. Long term use of these drugs requires blood work every 6-12 months to evaluate your dog’s liver function.
- Physical therapy. Physical therapy for dogs aims to decrease pain and build muscle. Veterinarians and physical therapists can give you a home care plan to empower you with exercises and stretches.
I would love to hear from you! What helps your dog with arthritis? Leave a comment below!
Sending you and your pup tons of love!