What can you give a dog for joint pain? If your pooch is suffering from joint pain, you need to find ways to soothe them. There are many methods that you can do with the help of your pet’s veterinarian. Just remember that you should never treat your dog on your own. Always seek the help of a vet as you consider the tips that we’ll discuss here.
Take note that joint pain can impact your doggo’s quality of life. As the pet owner, it’s your responsibility to ensure that your dog is in good health.
Common joint problems among dogs
Joint problems can be a lot of things, especially for an active doggo. The first step in finding the solution to your dog’s suffering is identifying what causes it in the first place. The following are some of the most common causes of joint problem and pain among canines:
For senior doggos, osteoarthritis is the leading cause of joint pain. Take note that arthritis can be developmental or degenerative. When we talk about developmental osteoarthritis, these are commonly found on the hip and elbows. It’s usually in the form of dysplasia and can be congenital as well.
On the other hand, degenerative osteoarthritis is the most common among old canines — the joint degenerates over time, which thins the cartilage.
Some cases of development arthritis can be fixed through a surgical procedure. But for degenerative cases of arthritis, it requires life-long medication and you can only reduce the symptoms.
In this video, Our Pets Health tells us more of the signs of canine arthritis:
CCL or Cranial Cruciate Ligament tear is the canine version of the ACL tear in humans. This happens when your dog’s leg ligament tears or gets broken. This will lead to limping and lameness on your canine’s rear. Take note that CCL tears need immediate medical attention. Some may need surgical treatments to stitch the ligaments back.
If you notice that your dog is bunny hopping and the front leg is starting to gain muscles, take the dog to a vet right away. Most dogs will show signs of CCL tear the moment that CCL tears occur.
Did your dog jump from a high surface? Is something heavy fell on your dog’s legs? If so, your pooch may be experiencing joint or bone fractures. Like CCL tear, joint fractures need immediate medical treatments.
Joint fractures won’t go away on its own. If you let your dog suffering, the fractured area will swell and will branch into more health problems.
Patellar luxation happens when your dog’s kneecap dislodges from its natural position. This is a common problem among dogs, which can be congenital or accident-related. Dogs with this condition will skip and hold up their affected leg for a few minutes before moving.
To diagnose patellar luxation properly, you need to bring your canine to a veterinarian. An X-ray test will be performed together with fluid sample tests to determine any related conditions.
Active dogs like Pitbulls love running around. And with their deep-chested gait, their joints suffer from excessive activities. So after a long day of intense activities, you may notice that your dog is reluctant to climb stairs, or it will whimper upon touching the painful leg.
Although this kind of pain will go away after a long rest, you have to be careful since it can be an early sign of degenerative osteoarthritis. It’s best to change your doggo’s activities to reduce the stress their joints are going through.
Another reason for the joint pain is the poor production of several hormones. For example, poor thyroid hormone production will worsen the onset of osteoarthritis. Aside from hormone problems, your dog’s diet could be the culprit.
Signs that your dog has joint problems
Many dog owners often miss the tell-tale signs of joint pain. Since Pitbulls have a higher tolerance to pain, you should be watchful of the symptoms that your doggo might be feeling. Here are some of the common signs that your pooch is in pain:
NOTE: Take note that these symptoms can indicate varying health problems. If you notice several of these problems on your pooch, bring it straight to the vet.
*Irritability. Has your dog become grumpy lately? The pooch may be in some kind of pain.
*Lameness on the hind legs. This condition can mean that your dog has CCL tear or hip dysplasia. But whatever the diagnosis is, you should consult a vet.
*Reluctance to run or climb. If your active pooch suddenly becomes lethargic and reluctant to climb stairs and run around, their joints may be sore.
*Swollen joints. This is a tell-tale sign that your dog’s joint has a problem. Check the joint area for swelling.
*Bunny hopping. This pertains to the hop-like running of your dog, similar to how bunnies run.
*Licking of the joints. Dogs and cats will lick their body parts that hurt. So when you see them licking the joints, you should check for further symptoms.
What can you give a dog for joint pain?
So what can you give a dog for joint pain? For those who want to ease the suffering of the pooch, the following can be the solution. Take note that you should always consult a veterinarian before giving your dog any of these treatments or solutions.
For dogs with hip and joint problems, hydrotherapy allows them to exercise without taxing their joints too much. During a hydrotherapy session, your dog will be placed inside a tub filled with water up to the pooch’s shoulder. Beneath, there’s a treadmill that will be turned on so your dog will exercise.
This setup uses water to cushion the weight of the doggo. Also, since there’s a floating effect, your pet can exercise without hurting their joints further. Aside from keeping your dog in good shape, hydrotherapy can be used for therapy and recovery after a surgical procedure.
However, hydrotherapy sessions don’t come cheap. A session costs between $40 and $50, depending on the clinic you’ll choose. Also, you should consult your dog’s vet before taking it to a hydrotherapy session. Some dogs aren’t good candidates for hydrotherapy for a variety of reasons.
Not familiar with hydrotherapy? Here’s a quick look at how this treatment works:
If your pet isn’t suffering from serious joint problems, the vet may recommend supplements instead. This will help nourish your dog’s joints to delay the damages to its cartilages.
Such supplements are chondroitin and glucosamine. These substances are present in our dogs’ bodies. However, some will not produce enough, which will lead to cartilage and joint degeneration.
Usually, chondroitin and glucosamine can be administered in conjunction with Omega-3 fatty acids. Fish oil supplements are also a trend nowadays since it’s rich in fatty acids that nourish the joints of a dog.
However, you should always remember that supplements aren’t made equal. Also, not all are ideal for your dog. It’s best to consult a vet before giving your dog any supplement. This way, you’ll know what’s the real problem and the ideal solution for it. In the long run, a joint supplement could be more harmful than helpful for your canine.
For dogs with osteoarthritis and other serious joint problems, pain relievers can help. Take note that only veterinarians should prescribe these medications. You should know that each pain reliever has contraindications that will impact your dog’s health.
The following are some of the most common painkillers vets prescribe for dogs with joint pain:
–NSAIDs. Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs are the most common prescriptions for dogs that experience mild to average pain. It helps reduce the swelling while giving immediate pain relief. However, NSAIDs should never be administered for too long or without the advice of a veterinarian.
–Corticosteroids. Also known as steroids, these substances help ease the pain temporarily. Again, this should be administered by a medical professional only. Take note that not all dogs can be injected with steroids.
Aside from medications, you can also get your ailing dog an orthopedic bed. Unlike plush and typical foam beds, orthopedic cots are made with foam that conforms to the shape of the dog’s body. This way, the pressure points will be released and the weight of your pet will be dispersed. It will reduce the strain on their joint, especially for canines with arthritis and hip dysplasia.
Orthopedic beds are memory foam beds paired with a soft cover. Some of these dog beds come with a water-resistant lining.
When getting a dog bed for your pet, make sure that it’s spacious enough to accommodate their legs. For growing pups, it’s best to get a bed large enough to accommodate its adult size. As you know, dogs grow fast and you wouldn’t want to waste money from buying dog beds repeatedly.
For senior dogs, a change in diet will also reduce the pain in their joints. Aside from being rich in glucosamine, chondroitin, and fatty acids, a senior dog diet also contains lower calories. This is to prevent excessive weight gain since older and arthritic canines move less.
If you’re in doubt, you can seek the advice of a veterinarian and pet nutritionist. For old dogs, food with limited ingredients is the best choice, so you can quickly identify potential allergens.
In case you discover that your dog has a luxated patella, hip dysplasia, or torn CCL, the vet may recommend a surgical operation to fix the injury. As a major treatment, this will cost a lot of money, which is around $1,000 to $5,000 or more.
Nevertheless, some dogs with severe orthopedic problems may not be good candidates for surgery. In this case, the vet will help you with life-long care to improve your dog’s quality of life. Some canines will have to undergo therapy first to strengthen their muscles before the corrective surgery.
*Regular vet visits
The best thing that you can give your dog suffering from joint pain is regular vet visits. This way, you can check if the pooch’s condition is improving or not. Even if you have performed the steps here, you should still consult with a veterinarian regularly.
As much as you want to save money, home remedies for your dog’s joint pain aren’t advisable. In the end, you may spend more because you put off medical treatments.
Other dog joint pain tips
Aside from the tips we recommended above, you should also keep the following in mind:
*Manage your dog’s weight
Regardless if your dog has joint problems or not, you should never let them gain excess weight. The extra pounds will cause strain on their legs, which may speed up the development of arthritis.
For dogs like Pitbulls, you have to practice portion control as they are voracious eaters. Also, give them enough exercise without hurting their knees too much.
*Don’t let the pooch jump too much
As much as possible, don’t let a Pitbull jump from very high surfaces. Take note that jumping will punish their knees and cause injuries.
Avoid activities like Frisbee, agility drills, and the likes. Also, if your old pooch has to hop on and off the car, take the initiative to lift them so they wouldn’t have to hurt their knees.
*Don’t trade the advice of a vet
Whenever you notice something wrong with your dog’s health, always consult with a veterinarian right away. Being proactive pays off, especially if you suspect that your pet has joint and orthopedic problems. A dog doctor knows how to diagnose a health condition and the necessary treatments for it.
What can you give a dog for joint pain? Joint pain among dogs can be due to a myriad of reasons. This is why you should always ask a vet’s opinion before giving your dog any medication.
Also, diagnosis is the key to improve your dog’s quality of life. Although some orthopedic problems don’t have a cure, there are many ways to fight the symptoms.
Does your dog have joint problems? How did you deal with it? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section!