Osteoarthritis is the most common form of joint disease in both humans and pets. It is estimated that 25-30% of American’s family pets suffer from arthritis. Seventy percent of vet office visits have arthritis as one of their symptoms.
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease in which the smooth cartilage at the ends of the joints is gradually eroded. This can cause inflammation, pain, and loss of mobility. It can also develop as a result of hip dysplasia or other joint problems.
Many vets prescribe NSAIDS or corticosteriods to ease pain and inflammation, but these can have serious side effects such as stomach ulcers and liver damage. There are some natural alternatives for your pet.
Glucosamine and chondroitin are natural substances that repair and maintain healthy cartilage that have been found to be very helpful for both dogs and humans.
If your dog is suffering from the pain of arthritis, there are a few important things you can do to help:
1. Be certain that your dog is at a healthy weight. Obesity increases the demand on the joints and can lead to a variety of other health problems.
2. Make sure your dog gets regular exercise in the form of gentle walks. If your dog likes it, swimming can also be great exercise.
Your dog isn’t able to voice (like humans) its health problems, so it is up to you to be sensitive to your dog’s needs. Watch for trouble walking or using stairs. If your dog is experiencing problems, be sure to give him or her the proper care she or he needs.
A good book to help you learn about your dog’s health is “Longer Life for the Dog You Love.” Also, learn how to easily train your dog and to get her or him to obey you everywhere you go. And, learn the Secrets of a Professional Dog Trainer.