If your dog is having difficulty getting up, moving more slowly, and is obviously in pain when walking, then he may have joint pain . Joint diseases like arthritis are as well known in dogs as they are in humans and are the leading cause of joint pain in dogs.
What to do if your dog has joint pain
Osteoarthritis is a serious orthopedic problem that now affects one in five dogs. Unfortunately, far too often the disease is diagnosed at an advanced stage.
Mostly old dogs are affected by the joint disease. But young dogs can also suffer from the joint disease. The proper diet can help , not to help the dog’s life only, but also prevent joint problems.
Wear on the joints
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease. It is the wear and tear of the cartilage layer of a joint and changes in the bones. The joint capsule is often reduced in size and bone formation can occur. The result is that the joint becomes stiff. Arthritis usually develops over a long period of time and can affect any joint.
The most common cases are hips, elbows or ankles that are painfully altered. The reasons for this disease are many. On the one hand, wear and tear on the joints can occur due to age. One then speaks of primary osteoarthritis. Secondary osteoarthritis is caused by growth disorders or injuries.
With young and old dogs
Arthritis is often a symptom of old age , but it also occurs in young dogs when their joints have been subjected to excessive stress over a long period of time.
The disease is favored by obesity, physical overload, joint misalignments such as hip dysplasia, injuries or previous joint diseases. Poorly healed injuries can also trigger inflammation of the joints.
Not all dogs are equally prone to joint problems. Osteoarthritis is diagnosed more often in large breeds such as Rottweiler, Labrador, German Shepherd or Retriever than in small dogs.
Illnesses can already be favored in puppyhood by malnutrition with food that is too high in energy or low in minerals.
Exercise and medication such as pain relievers
Therapy is adapted to the dog. Obese dogs need to lose weight as quickly as possible. The activities that the dog can or should perform are prescribed by the vet according to the degree of joint problems . For example, movement that would be particularly demanding on the affected joint is reduced to a minimum.
If the ankle is affected, your four-legged friend should refrain from jumping or romping excessively. Long walks are taboo with osteoarthritis. Several short trips are better. It would be ideal to swim a lot with the dog.
In addition, the vet usually gives anti-inflammatory and pain reliever medication. Physiotherapy treatment can be of great help here.
Role of diet in joint pain
As a dog owner, with the right food, you can do a lot to keep your darling healthy if your joints wear out. You have to feed all nutrients in the correct proportions as early as the puppy age and during growth.
For adult dogs, seniors and neutered dogs, the diet is adjusted accordingly. You should definitely avoid being overweight. Today, there are already types of food on the market whose ingredients can prevent osteoarthritis .
Green-lipped mussel or nettle as a natural remedy
The ingredient green lipped mussel extract is popular here . For millennia, the Maori clam has been used in New Zealand to relieve joint pain and cure diseases.
The contained glucosamine glycans and chondroitin sulfate help with the formation of cartilage and its lubrication. They can help regeneration and reduce the risk of osteoarthritis progressing. The omega-3 fatty acids it contains relieve symptoms.
This means that the green-lipped mussel extract makes sense as a preventive measure, but it can also be given as a support in the event of illness. Antioxidants such as vitamin E, vitamin C, zinc or selenium have anti-inflammatory effects and slow down arthritis in dogs. Another medicinal plant is the nettle. It has also already proven itself in joint problems.
How do I know if my dog has osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis usually develops slowly over a long period of time . It is precisely this fact that is responsible for the fact that many dog owners only recognize the symptoms very late.
Stiff joints and joint pain that lead to lameness after getting up are typical. It usually improves through exercise. The joint may swell and the dog will bite and pull at the affected area. Often the dog is very restless and constantly changes its position.