Osteoarthritis, or calcification as it is popularly known, is an extremely serious ailment for dogs. As a degenerative condition, osteoarthritis progresses over time, which means that if the disease is not controlled, the dog’s quality of life will gradually deteriorate. For this reason, canine arthritis disease care at home is very important. According to studies, calcification is seen in 20% of dogs regardless of age. This makes arthritis the most common chronic disease among dogs. When a dog is diagnosed with osteoarthritis, it is best to focus on how to manage the disease rather than treating it. Maximizing the dog’s comfort and ensuring that it suffers little is the goal of managing the disease.
First Step for Dogs with Joint Problems
The first thing you should do when your dog is diagnosed with osteoarthritis is to be in constant communication with the veterinarian. Because the treatment of osteoarthritis may vary according to the condition of the disease. For this reason, the dog should be regularly examined by a veterinarian. After the evaluations, the veterinarian will make changes according to the condition of the disease during the treatment process.
One of the important steps to take in the first step in the treatment process is to take notes about your dog’s health in a notebook and keep a diary. You can ask the veterinarian at the next examination by taking note of the different situations you observe during the day. Keeping a diary also allows the veterinarian to see in more detail how the disease is progressing. It is difficult to remember and describe all that happened during the examination. For this reason, it is the most effective method to take note of your dog’s experiences during the treatment process.
Weight Change and Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that occurs in the joints. The disease becomes worse when the load on the joints increases. For this reason, you should ensure that your dog loses excess weight, if any, during the treatment process. After planning a proper nutrition and weight loss process together with the veterinarian, you can lose weight. The weight loss process is also checked regularly in osteoarthritis examinations. In this way, your dog will gain weight in a healthy way, while at the same time he will suffer less from osteoarthritis.
Similarly, regular exercise is very important for joint health. However, regular exercise in dogs with osteoarthritis should not be excessive. You can determine how far and how long the dog can walk after consulting with the veterinarian. It is not recommended for dogs with osteoarthritis to walk on very hard surfaces. In addition, you can ensure that a significant part of the load on the joints is distributed on the muscles by ensuring the development of the muscles, especially thanks to the exercises that help strengthen some muscle groups.
In cases where the pain caused by osteoarthritis is excessive, various painkillers can be used to make the dog’s life more comfortable. However, the dog with the observed infection is a suitable candidate for anti-inflammatory drugs. The veterinarian decides which drug to use and how. In order for the disease process to progress correctly, drugs should not be used other than veterinary advice. Some side effects of these drugs can affect dogs. In such a case, it is necessary to communicate with the veterinarian and fully explain the side effects.
Along with the drug, there are some additional foods that will support joint health and facilitate the management of the disease. The use of these additional foods in the treatment process helps to slow the progression of degeneration in the joints. After getting information from the veterinarian about this issue, the use of additional foods makes it easier to slow down the severity of the disease.
Changes to be Made in the Living Area
Among the changes that will provide the most comfort to dogs in the treatment of osteoarthritis are the changes to be made in their living spaces. Putting the food and water bowl higher than normal prevents them from bending over at feeding time. This significantly reduces back pain. It is most comfortable for them to raise the food and water bowl to a height between the dog’s elbow and shoulders.
Dogs with joint disorders should be in a warm and dry environment. Living in the open air and in a humid environment causes this ailment to worsen. When you come home after short exercise walks, you need to make sure your dog is not wet.