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We tell you what are the symptoms and care for a dog with osteoarthritis.
If your dear furry friend begins to suffer the ravages of this disease, you will have to take certain precautions to ensure their well-being, because your dog deserves the best and it is your responsibility.
What is osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is a type of disease that affects the joints, and that is defined by an erosion and degeneration of the cartilage and also by the production of newly formed bone in the margins of the joints.
This ailment can make your pet have a very bad time in their day to day.
It is often thought that Age is a trigger for canine osteoarthritis, But in reality, it is not the cause of the disease.
Osteoarthritis is a ailment that occurs as a result of abnormal wear of the cartilage With the passage of time because of an alteration that already exists such as a hip dysplasia, trauma, overexertion, accelerated growth and joint surgery, among other causes.
Osteoarthritis can be reflected and manifested in a young dog as a result of trauma, or in cases of dogs with genetic malformations.
A factor that can influence decisively is obesity, since the excess weight will cause a continuous overload on the joints, which will cause them to wear and deform more quickly.
How osteoarthritis is detected
It is a disease of complex detection Because dogs usually compensate for changes, shifting their weight on the joint that is not damaged or avoiding putting too much pressure on the area that hurts.
In the early stages of the disease it is quite difficult to detect if a dog suffers from this condition, and the pain or discomfort can go completely unnoticed.
In fact, lameness or any change in the form of support during the early stages of osteoarthritis are often poorly visible, clear and seasonal.
The most common is that your routine with your pet is as usual, you will go for a walk with your dog, you will play and you will not notice anything strange that is an evidence of pain or discomfort in the joints.
But As osteoarthritis evolves, the situation for your pet will get worse and the degree of joint degeneration and pain will already become apparent..
At that point, you will see your dog limping frequently, it will not want to move so much, it will show discomfort and pain to the soft touch on the joints.
There is more symptoms apart from lameness that will reflect that your dog suffers joint pain and consequently, osteoarthritis.
It will cost your dog to stand up, sit and lie down. If it succeeds, it will be accompanied by pain, difficulties and somewhat forced postures. Your pet will have less desire to go out, to play, will walk more slowly and it will cost him to follow the usual rhythm.
Due to pain and discomfort, your pet may reach lose appetite and you will even notice important changes in their behavior. S
It will be natural to be irritable, nervous and somewhat aggressive, you will want to have less physical contact especially in the joints where you suffer pain.
Precautions and tips to care for a dog with osteoarthritis
Treating a dog with osteoarthritis is not difficult, but you should take into account some precautions to monitor and keep your health stable.
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that has no solution, but Following the treatment indicated by the veterinarian, your pet can have a good quality of life.
As one of the factors that influence the onset of osteoarthritis is obesity, you will have to monitor your weight.
If there is overweight, there will be a constant overload on the joints that will generate a constant tension.
That's why you'll have to Pay special attention to your diet. The diet should be rich in fatty acids so that the greasing of the joints is enhanced.
To keep your pet at its ideal weight you will have to control your diet and also carry out a moderate exercise routine.
That your dog has osteoarthritis does not mean that he should not move in the least, he will have to perform gentle exercises to increase, tone the muscles and keep your joints healthy and strong.
The activity that your dog performs should be according to his age and his physiological state. It is recommended that you exercise as a routine every day of your life, but never begin to suddenly or abruptly submit to a high level of activity.
For the care of your dog it is essential that there is constancy and regularity. The need for exercise will vary depending on the state of the disease.
It will be your trusted veterinarian who will set up a physical activity program adapted to your age, race and size.
The duration and intensity of physical exercise It will also vary depending on the degree and location of osteoarthritis.
Type of exercise will vary depending on the muscle mass of your dog, of the intensity of pain and of joint movement range.
Another aspect that you must take into account is the type of physical activity to be performed. Swimming is a highly recommended sport for a dog suffering from osteoarthritis and also without limitation.
If you have a bathing area near your home, take your dog to take a good bath with you and you will see how good it feels to share that moment at your side.
If this option is not possible you must Take him for a walk several times a day, always with the same intensity.
Must avoid exercises that involve sudden and totally uncontrolled movements such as changes in rhythm, posture, jumps ... because they are the kind of circumstances that generate more tension on the joints.
Watch your pet to see how your dog carries the daily routine. No one better than you to know if he gets along, if it gets worse, if he feels pain always or only in a specific area.
Between your veterinarian and you will estimate the degree of exercise that your dog can accept without any risk and you will have to adapt it little by little as its state evolves. You have to be aware to see when the pain begins, if your dog stops during the walks, if he limps always or occasionally, or if he feels pain after his physical activity.
These are just some observations that you will have to consider to Establish the ideal routine for your pet. You should not allow your pet to end up very exhausted or exhausted, the exercise as we have said should be smooth and harmonious.
Every time you take it out for a walk or play, you should start and finish with a calmer rhythm as if it were a warm up or cool down.
The most recommended is that you exercise several times a day at different times. If your dog gets tired do not force him to continue, let him rest, he feels and when he is better to resume the activity.
The daily pattern of exercise should be identical, it is not good that when you get the weekend to have more time you force it to increase the time and intensity of the activity.
It is very normal that you want to dedicate time and longer, intense walks along with game days. But remember that If your dog suffers from osteoarthritis, those rhythm changes are not good.
Another of the Important precautions to care for your dog with osteoarthritis is to protect your pet from extreme temperatures.
Dogs usually get worse when it is very hot or when it is very cold. If it's cold your pet will need to be well protected at home, with a warm and comfortable bed.
However, heat can also influence negatively since your dog will feel much more exhausted. It is advisable to remain in a place where the temperature is not very high, there are shadows and some ventilation or air conditioning.
Canine osteoarthritis is also treated with anti-inflammatory medications and with minerals, vitamins or even collagen to nourish the cartilage and prevent wear and malformation.
It is a palliative and preventive treatment, but it does not cure osteoarthritis that is a chronic disease.
The bottom line is that once your dog has been diagnosed it is give you the highest quality of life possible and control all the discomforts derived from the ailment.
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Tell us your experiences about it, we all learn a lot about our furry friends. We recommend that you inform yourself about What to do if your dog suffers a heat stroke.