Fall is here, and with it comes cooler weather and plenty of rain (especially if you’re in Columbia, SC where we are)! This can be a great time of year, perfect for outdoor walks and hikes with your canine companions. It’s also the time of year that many of us start having problems with arthritis. Your pups share in this pain too!
Canine arthritis, also known as osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease, doesn’t just affect senior dogs. Take it from me, my Ace has suffered from it since he was less than a year old. Canine arthritis most commonly occurs from overuse, genetic issues, or age. Think about how active our pups are. They run, jump, swim, and play… hard!!! All of this activity can cause the cartilage in the joints to wear down, eventually exposing bone and causing pain and inflammation.
How will you know if your dog is suffering from conditions such as arthritis?
With Ace I first noticed that he sat very slowly during training. This got progressively worse. For a while I thought he was just being a stubborn pittie, then I noticed an occasional small limp. I wondered if it hurt him to sit so I started watching closer. He began to develop a funny walk (or gait). I was afraid that he may have been developing hip dysplasia. He couldn’t get up on my bed like he used to. It got so bad that he fell trying to make it up the three stairs to my back door. I had to lift his back end to help him in. That’s when I panicked and got him in to the vet! His hips are fine but his knees are in bad shape.
I recommend taking your dog to the vet if you see signs such as stiffness, swelling, lack of energy or willingness to play, trouble jumping or climbing stairs, and more. They can do X-rays and other tests to rule out other health issues and properly diagnose the problems.
What can you do to help?
You’ll want to carefully manage your dog’s weight and nutritional intake. Follow your vet’s advice on the amount of exercise that’s appropriate. In severe cases they may need some rest and then gradually work back in regular walks. And of course, there are plenty of expensive pain medications and anti-inflammatory drugs that you can give your dog.
Personally, I don’t want my pup on long term pain meds. I know how harmful they can be. Instead, I take the natural approach with Ace. Regular massage, acupressure, and supplements can help manage your pup’s pain. At Well-Pup, we’ll work together with you, the owner, and even your vet to design a treatment plan to meet your dog’s individual needs. Canine massage treatments are often cheaper and more effective than pain meds alone.
Take it from Ace… Canine Massage Therapy treatments from Well-Pup can get your dog moving and loving life again!
Contact us today to book your appointment!
Check out our website for more info… www.wellpup.com.