Signs to look out for include:
- Shows signs of stiffness especially when getting up in the morning
- Is reluctant to walk, run or play
- Is reluctant to climb stairs or jump into a car
- Is limping, or falling behind on walks
- Is showing a personality change i.e. more aggressive, irritable or stubborn
- Cries in pain when touched or resistant to be touched
- Has swelling or abnormal appearance of a joint or joints
- Is excessively licking, chewing or grooming a joint or joints
Arthritis can develop due to a number of different factors. Age is a leading cause as most pets will suffer to some degree from joint problems as they get older.
But age is not the only factor when it comes to arthritis. Other factors can include:
Breed: Large breeds can be more susceptible to joint problems.
Weight: Extra unnecessary weight places undue stress on joints.
Injuries: Trauma from an accident and/or wear and tear in everyday active life can cause a joint to deteriorate.
Other disorders: Such as Hip or Elbow dysplasia, can lead to further joint problems.
Exercise in moderation can help reduce greater stiffness and muscle wastage.
Your dog's exercise regime will depend upon factors such as weight and degree of joint disease.
Avoid energetic activities e.g. Chasing a ball and catching a Frisbee; even though your dog may want to!
Care should be taken that your dog does not carry excess weight.
Weight reduction where appropriate will lessen the stress on damaged joints and increase mobility.
Ensure your dog has a thick, warm and comfortable bed to sleep in, particularly in winter.
Place your dog's bed out of any drafts and minimise stairs/steps your dog may need to climb.
Treatment of arthritis used to be aimed at reducing pain and swelling with pain-killers, also called anti-inflammatories. Modern products such as Pentosan 100contain the active ingredient Pentosan Polysulfate Sodium (PPS) which actively repairs and maintains joints.
Pentosan 100 Injection is a Disease Modifying Osteoarthritis Drug (DMOAD) which actually stimulates the body's own mechanisms to heal damaged joints. Pentosan 100 Injections are only available from your veterinarian. Speak with your veterinarian about what is best for your dog.
A daily oral supplement containing Glucosamine Hydrochloride and Chondroitin Sulfate such as Joint Guard Powder for Dogs. Joint Guard® is a nutritional supplement that has been developed using ingredients shown to be effective in the treatment of joint problems such as those due to arthritis, injury or general wear and tear. Joint Guard works in combination with Pentosan 100 injection to further repair and protect joints damaged by the various Degenerative Joint Diseases.