Spinal Arthritis: Just like humans, dogs suffer from arthritis in old age. However, Spinal arthritis is more present in dogs than in humans. This is due to their horizontal spine. In this position, the vertebrae absorb more pressure. Like most forms of arthritis, Spinal arthritis stems from extended degeneration of the vertebral column bones, joints and other supportive tissues.
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What is Spinal Arthritis?
As dogs age, the cartilage in their joints becomes thin as cartilage cells die. When the cartilage cells die, they produce enzymes that cause inflammation of the joint, excess release of the joint fluid, and bone spurs. As time progresses so does the deterioration of the bone beneath the cartilage.
This is a gradual process and continues to become severe as your pet ages. While spinal arthritis is not fatal, it does cause pain. Untreated, arthritis will lead to other canine health problems.
After a spinal arthritis diagnosis, your vet may recommend a natural supplement to stimulate cartilage tissue and calm joint inflammation. A change in your pet’s diet may help to slow down the degeneration of your dog’s joints. Adding exercise to your dog’s daily routine and changes in his lifestyle will improve his mobility. Work in tandem with your veterinarian to ensure exercise is realistic and how much to start with.
Symptoms of Spinal Arthritis in Dogs
Spinal arthritis leads to stiffness in the whole body, which can make your pet less agile, and mobile. Along with back pain, dogs with spinal arthritis can also experience bone spurs and swelling around the affected nerves.
The difference in a pet’s mobility can be easily seen, and the changes in activity level are noticeable. Running becomes clumsy and stiff. And it may take longer for your pet to climb stairs. These symptoms can also be contributed to getting older, but it is important to let your vet know what you’re observing.
Today we are fortunate to have
numerous treatment options to
manage and even suppress your dog’s arthritis.
Canine Joint Supplements
Joint supplements for dogs are a great way to ensure your ‘pup’ is receiving extra supplementation that he/she wouldn’t get from pet food. Supplements combined with a wholesome pet food will lengthen the amount of healthy, active time you spend with your aging, injured, or mobility impaired pet. By promoting healthy cartilage and overall joint health by adding Joint supplements to your dogs daily regime also quickens recovery. It is important to pick the right supplement for your dog.
Glucosamine and Chondroitin
Glucosamine is a natural sugar produced by the body. It is also found in shellfish shells: shrimp, lobster and crabs. Shells from the aforementioned will be present in the ingredient list of the ‘natural’ brands. If you or your pet are allergic to shellfish look to the lab-manufactured glucosamine products. In either case, glucosamine ingredients stimulate the production of glycosaminoglycans and proteoglycans, two essential building blocks of cartilage. Together, Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate play an important role in the production, maintenance, and repair of cartilage.
Chondroitin Sulfate attracts fluids, which will accomplish the following in the area that is injured or degenerating-
Pet parents have found this supplement-combination useful in treating their arthritic pet. Like any supplements, speak with your veterinarian as effects are indicated if your pet is also taking a prescription or NSAIDs. Also, consider adding fatty acids like Omega 6 and Omega 3 to improve your canine companion’s overall health.
Natural Pain Relief for Arthritic Dogs
Like many other pet owners, you may be interested in a Natural Remedy for your pets physical ailment. You will have to do your research to find one with zero interaction/s with your pet’s current medication, and one with no adverse side effects. After you have done your research, speak with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s treatment plan. The internet will reveal hundreds of natural remedies and recipes. Take care in purchasing from a reputable brand/product. A brand and/or product should be transparent with pricing, lab results, farming practices, locations, sourcing, ingredients, and even reputation. Look through reviews online and make sure the company responds to questions.
Turmeric has long been at the top of the list when it comes to a natural anti-inflammatory. Curcumin (which is the yellow pigment in turmeric) is often hailed for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, paste form is best. Mix with broth and serve it to your dog’s meal. Turmeric has been used for centuries in Ayurveda and is guaranteed to give the desired results over time. On its own tumeric does not add to health benefits. Curcumin combined with bioavailable (enhancing) agents are needed for proper absorption. A quality, pet-centric Turmeric product will be the best option in reducing many of the symptoms that of Canine Degenerative Arthritis.
CBD for Dogs with Arthritis, Pain and Anxiety
When searching for CBD products for your pet make sure you are using a reputable company. There are many ‘here-today-gone-tomorrow’ companies. CBD oil is available in many forms, such as tinctures, pet treats, and topical treatments. Topical CBD is available in a range of options, including creams, lotions, balms, ointments, shampoos, and gels. Any brand worth buying from will be transparent. This includes pricing, lab results, farming practices, locations, sourcing, and even reputation. Look through and check reviews online to see if the company responds to questions.
Mobility Assistance for Arthritic Pets
Ensuring your dog gets proper exercise and maintains a healthy activity level will help to keep your dog youthful.
If your pet is diagnosed with spinal arthritis, make sure they are getting proper back support. Sudden movements may jar your dog’s back or cause unneeded pain. A back brace will help to support the spine and encourage proper movement. If your dog’s arthritis pain is more severe, it may also cause pain in their legs and hips. With the help of a dog wheelchair, you can relieve some of the stress on your best friend’s legs with proper support and help them to get the exercise they need. If additional spinal support is needed while in their wheelchair a neoprene belly support is a great solution. Keep your dog moving, an active dog is a happy dog!
Hydrotherapy Benefits for Pets with Arthritis
During hydrotherapy sessions, a rehab specialist guides your pet through water- based activity. These activities have therapeutic benefits and are excellent exercise. A treadmill is placed in the water tank and the dog is encouraged to jog/walk on it. While the water supports the body, it also creates resistance, applying pressure on the desired joints. If additional support is needed during the session, your dog-wheelchair can be put on your pet for the treadmill session. Hydrotherapy is perfect for providing exercise with little to no discomfort during or after the session. Also beneficial for pets with many conditions including rear-end weakness and post-surgery recovery.
Pharmaceuticals for Canine Arthritis
Adequan® intermuscular injections have been considered a standard for treating arthritis and other degenerative bone diseases in dogs. Studies over time have shown that Adequan® slows cartilage destruction and helps in cartilage repair and improves joint fluid. This ‘therapy’ leads to increased comfort and mobility of your canine companion. The recommended treatment schedule is typically one injection every 3 or 4 days for a total of eight injections. Generally, doses are given by your veterinarian during an outpatient visit. With proper pet care, your dog’s arthritis pain can be managed. Speak with your veterinarian to discuss the best treatment plan for your pet.
Aim to keep your dog fit, healthy, and vibrant. Furnish them with excellent nutrition and appropriate exercise based on condition and breed. Keep your goal of optimal bodyweight throughout your pets life. Introduce supporting integrative therapies when symptoms of degenerative arthritis presents itself. Seek veterinary advice to move forward in an all-encompassing treatment plan. Use pharmaceuticals properly and thoughtfully.