Monday, January 21, 2013

Arthritis in Dogs- Symptoms and Treatment of Dog Arthritis

Arthritis in dogs is one of the most common health problems seen by veterinarians. When we talk about arthritis in dogs, we're often referring to the leg joints, as well as describing dogs who are stiff and sore when they move. Arthritis affects one out of every five dogs. There are two types of arthritis that affects dogs. The first is known as Osteoarthritis, or OA, and the second is known as Degenerative Joint Disease, or DJD. Some cases of arthritis are related to an immune-mediated joint disease or a joint infection.
Symptoms Of Dog Arthritis
Dogs with degenerative arthritis experience varying degrees of lameness, stiffness, and joint pain, that is more apparent in the morning and after getting up from a nap. They usually exhibit irritability and behavioral changes associated with increasing disability. Cold and damp environment increase pain and stiffness. Degenerative arthritis is progressive, along with in time makes the dog’s life miserable. If a dog has infective arthritis, he shows the symptoms described above, but the affected joints are also often swollen and painful. He usually have a fever, and be quite unwell. The lymph nodes in areas of the infected joints will be enlarged. Similarly, dogs with immune mediated arthritis also have symtoms of fever and reduced appetite or lethargy. The lameness comes and go, and it may appear to affect legs.
Some other symptoms include:
Dog Arthritis
+Favoring a limb                    
+Difficulty sitting or standing
+Sleeping more
+Seeming to have stiff or sore joints
+Hesitancy to jump, run or climb stairs
+Weight gain
+Decreased activity
+Attitude or behavior changes
+Being less alert
If your dog usually have any of these symptoms for more than two weeks take him to your veterinarian for an arthritis evaluation.
Treatment of Dog Arthritis
Once you have determined your dog has arthritis, it is important to start treatment right away. Canine arthritis treatment options can include physical therapy, medications or natural supplements and sometimes even surgery. Acupuncture is another therapy that has shown good results for arthritic dogs. All these should be used at the same time.
+Physical Therapy
Moderate exercise is beneficial because it maintains muscle mass and preserves joint flexibility. Excessive exercise, even so, is counterproductive. Swimming is an excellent exercise that improves muscle mass without overstressing the joints. Exercise is usually increased as the dog improves with the use of medications. Overweight dogs must be encouraged to lose weight. Being overweight very seriously complicates the treatment of arthritis.
+Immune-Mediated Arthritis
Immune-mediated arthritis reacts to anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive drugs, such as corticosteroids and chemotherapy agents. Treatment need to be continued for eight weeks or longer. Your vet will use several drugs or drug combinations before determining which protocol works best for your dog.
In cases where conventional and alternative methods of medical management are not effective, surgical intervention might be considered. The sort of surgery needed will depend on the joint involved. Some surgeries may include: joint replacement (hip, elbow, etc.), fusing damaged joints and
In summary, arthritis in dogs is almost always progressive and irreversible. Fortunately, diet, medication, appropriate exercise are just three of the most effective areas to focus on for arthritis in dogs and help most affected dogs maintain a good quality of life.
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