Did you know that as many as 80 percent of dogs over the age of eight have arthritis? Arthritis is essentially the same painful condition for our canine pals as it is for us. It’s caused by a gradual thinning and wearing down of the soft tissues that cushion and connect Fido’s bones and joints. This can become quite painful, and can severely affect both your dog’s range of motion and his quality of life. While unfortunately arthritis isn’t treatable, there are ways to manage it. Read on as a Roanoke, VA vet offers some tips on caring for a pup with arthritis.
Make sure your furry friend has a good bed! A thin pad won’t be very comfortable for Fido, and it won’t insulate him from chilly floors. We recommend orthopedic beds for dogs that have arthritis or other bone/joint issues.
Obesity is bad for your canine buddy in many ways, but it’s especially hard on his bones and joints. Even a few extra pounds will put additional strain on your pet’s musculoskeletal system. Keep Fido at or near a healthy weight. (That may mean steeling yourself against that soulful stare.)
You don’t want to overexert your furry best buddy, but you don’t want to let him become a couch potato, either. Fido needs regular, suitable exercise to keep his muscles strong and prevent atrophy. For most dogs, daily walks will be sufficient. Supervised swimming can also be a great option, assuming your pooch likes it.
Overgrown nails are also important. If your four-legged buddy’s nails are too long, he’ll have trouble getting traction, especially on slippery ground. This increases the risks of slips and falls, which can cause serious injuries. Aside from that, dogs with long nails may shift their gait to avoid discomfort. That would put even more strain on your pet’s already-weakened bones and joints.
At the end of the day, your vet is going to be your ultimate ally and resource when it comes to keeping your canine friend comfy and healthy. While arthritis can’t be cured, there are options for managing it. Laser therapy, for instance, can be very beneficial here. It’s also important to monitor Fido’s condition closely.
Do you know or suspect that your dog has arthritis? Contact us, your local Roanoke, VA animal clinic, today!