Each dog has unique factors that contribute to the aging process, including genetics, environment, and nutrition. A general rule: the larger the breed, the faster the aging process. Smaller breeds such as Pomeranians often do not reach senior status until age 10 or 11, while larger breeds such as Great Danes may become a senior as early as age 5 or 6. For many dogs, the “senior years” typically start somewhere between age 6-10.
Arthritis is a common health condition for senior dogs. It can affect any breed. It is most common in large or overweight dogs. This is due to the strain put on a dog’s joints over time, causing the cartilage between joints to thin. Cartilage acts like a shock absorber; when it wears down, the bones begin to make contact with each other when the joint moves. This results in inflammation and bone damage, which is usually painful.
Often arthritis is mistaken for general “slowing down” of an aging dog. Happy Dogs CBD Treats may help ease arthritis symptoms!
Degenerative Joint Disease: Also known as osteoarthritis, this condition occurs from friction between the bones because of the erosion of cushioning cartilage. Purebred dogs are known to have an increased tendency for DJD (for example, hip dysplasia in German Shepherds). Bone spurs can also develop.
Inflammatory Joint Disease: This can be caused by an infection. Single and multiple joints can be involved. It can also be the result of an inherited immune system flaw.
Treatment of Arthritis in Dogs: The treatment for arthritis may involve a lifestyle change for your dog. Diet and exercise are important in the maintenance of good quality of life.
Your vet may start your dog’s treatment with a prescription for nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) to reduce pain and inflammation. An injectable medication, such as cortisone, may be recommended to reduce swelling and pain. Visco-supplementation is an injection of a gel-like substance into the joint to lubricate the cartilage, which improves flexibility, lessening pain. Steroids are another option that your veterinarian could discuss. Glycosaminoglycans are often used as an aid for reducing the breakdown of cartilage.
Physiotherapy may be suggested to decrease scar tissue, improve mobility, and reduce pain. Studies have shown physiotherapy, chiropractic, and massage therapy have benefits for our furry friends suffering from arthritis.
Water therapy uses treadmill work while your dog's body is underwater, putting no pressure on their joints and ligaments.
An arthroscopy may also be done to clear up cartilage from between the joints. A primary treatment for arthritis should be identifying if there is an underlying disease which needs to be addressed along with the joint pain.
Additional treatment plans may include CBD, acupuncture, ultrasound therapy, laser therapy, magnetic therapy, and stem cell therapy. Your veterinarian will have his or her preferred protocol, and can advise you on which treatment will be the most effective to get your dog feeling more comfortable.
Most of all we want our furry friends to be comfortable!