Arthritis in Dogs? | Colorado Toy & Mini Aussies | Miniature Australian Shepherd - Fountain, CO

Arthritis in Dogs?

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Arthritis in Dogs?
Posted February 15, 2018

Dogs can suffer from a lot of the same health issues as humans. Unfortunately, dogs are not very good at showing when they're sick, and they can't tell us if they're not feeling well. That's why it's important to be aware of some common dog health issues that affect many dogs as they age.

Arthritis is one of these issues. Knowing the risks is the first step towards helping your dog avoid the stress associated with arthritis and its treatments. Here are some facts about arthritis that you should be aware of as your dog ages.

Large and obese dogs are at greater risk of developing arthritis. This is because larger dogs have more weight for their bones to hold up, which causes stress on the bones and cartilage. However, this doesn't mean that small dogs can't get arthritis. In fact, 1 out of every 5 dogs will experience joint problems at some point in their lives.

Treatments for advanced arthritis include medicines and surgery. Dogs with arthritis can be given Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) to help treat the problem and ease the pain. If the arthritis is too advanced for medicines, surgery may be the only option. Both of these treatments are stressful for your dog and can also be quite costly.

This is why the right diet is so important. A good diet can make a huge difference in your dog's chances of getting arthritis - and in the way the disease develops. As I mentioned before, obese dogs are at a higher risk for arthritis, so it's no surprise that feeding your dog the right food can help prevent or delay arthritis.

A good diet may actually also help dogs that already have arthritis. High levels of Omega-3 fatty acids for example help ease joint stiffness while EPA helps nourish cartilage, so your dog can overcome the discomfort and pain of arthritis.

Switching your arthritic dog's food to a diet formulated specifically for dogs with arthritis is an easy way to help him deal with arthritis, and reduce the need for more aggressive treatments later on.

If you notice that your dog is starting to slow down, a trip to the vet may be in order. Asking the right questions is important - before you go to the vet, it's a great idea to prepare a list of questions you want to ask to help determine the best course of action for your dog. 

Be prepared, and you are more likely to catch a health problem before it becomes serious.