Arthritis is one of the oldest diseases known to mankind. Surprisingly, science has shown that dinosaurs also had arthritis and there is evidence that early humans had the same chronic aches and pains. So it’s understandable that dogs can develop arthritis also. In fact, arthritis is a common disease affecting man’s best friend.
Did you know that managing your dog’s arthritis can help you better manage your own arthritis? Owning and being responsible for a pet dog can give you a positive outlook on life, improve your attitude and give a lift to your spirits. It is a fact that pet-owners tend to live longer and average fewer visits to their doctor’s office.
Arthritis affects dogs of all ages just as it affects people of all ages. If you notice changes in your dog’s mood and activity, and it doesn’t seem to be feeling too good, you may think it has a cold or stomach virus, but it could be arthritis. Arthritis affects one in every five adult dogs in the U.S. and is one of the most common sources of chronic pain that veterinarians treat.
The question then remains, how do you know if it’s arthritis? Your dog can’t tell you what’s wrong with it, so it’s important to watch for non-verbal cues and take even subtle changes seriously.
There are certain signs that your dog may have arthritis. You may notice it favoring one leg, experiencing difficulty sitting or standing, sleeping more, appearing to have stiff or sore joints, being hesitant to jump, run or climb stairs, gaining weight, being less interested in playing, demonstrating a decrease in normal activity, displaying changes in attitude or behavior, and being less alert.
If your dog displays any of these symptoms for more than two weeks, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian for an arthritis evaluation, which will involve a physical exam and X-rays. The best thing you can do for your dog to help manage arthritis is to get a diagnosis from the vet and start a treatment plan as soon as possible.
Recommended treatments may include the following:
(1) A healthy diet and exercise to help maintain proper weight
(2) Working with your veterinarian to find a drug treatment using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) which is the most common form of pharmaceutical treatment for arthritis in dogs
(3) Over-the-counter pet treatments, such as food containing either glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate or Omega fatty acids. These have been shown to offer some help in relieving the symptoms of arthritis in dogs
(4) A veterinarian-prescribed anti-inflammatory drugs and an over-the-counter treatment that together may help decrease pain and disease progression.
The most complete and effective treatment I have discovered for my own 8 year old Great Dane who has arthritis, is Winston’s Joint System, a combination of three, totally-natural whole food supplements developed by a Naturopathic Doctor for his own dog. With Winston’s there was no need for drugs, and my dog has never suffered from the common side-effects caused by the drugs because Winston’s is just good whole food. And I don’t have to be concerned about dosage problems either because my dog’s body uses only what it needs.
Within the first 30 days after I started treating my dog with Winston’s Joint System, he began to show significant improvement in his arthritis symptoms.
No matter how you choose to treat your dog’s arthritis, make sure you work with your veterinarian to ensure that you select the best program that helps your loving companion. Early diagnosis and treatment, maintaining a healthy weight, and regular exercise are critical in treating a dog with arthritis.