There is no cure for most types of canine arthritis. Arthritis usually affects most older dogs but sometimes even young dogs less than a year old can get an early onset of it called hip dysplasia. Arthritis is more prevalent in large breeds due to their weight. Genetics can also determine your dog’s susceptibility to arthritis. No dog owner wants to see their dog suffer from chronic pain caused by arthritis. Luckily, there are supplements that can help alleviate this pain for the dog. Before I introduce you to these products, let me tell you a little bit about arthritis and its symptoms.
Arthritis is usually caused by wear and tear that happens on your dogs joints as they age. Arthritis can also affect puppies that are genetically prone to them (dysplasia). When your dogs are young they may not feel these arthritic problems as their bone is able to repair and recover from them. As your dog’s age the repair process becomes less effective causing errors and inflammation. Note: Canine arthritis (dysplasia) can be prevented to a certain extent by opting to get your puppies from a reputable breeder with an Orthopedic Foundation Of America evaluation in file. The offspring’s of dog’s with “excellent” hip scores are genetically less susceptible to canine hip dysplasia.
Signs Of Arthritis In Dogs
It will be painful to see your dogs go through this stage especially if you had them all your life. I myself owned a Mastiff that went through hip dysplasia before she even completed her puppy stage. It was very hard for me to see her suffer before she even got a chance at life. Here are the signs of arthritis in dogs, many of which I witnessed myself.
- Your dog will shy away from activities that they used to enjoy
- Decreased level of activity, Your dog will hesitate to jump up on things
- Your dog will start to limp and may look unbalanced on one side
- Your dog may struggle to get up once they sit down
- Large breed dogs with hip dysplasia will use their front legs to carry most of their weight.
- Puppies & dogs with hip dysplasia will have weaker hind legs.
- Your dog my do the bunny hop and their range of motion will be short
Does Surgery Help My Dog With Arthritis or Hip Dysplasia?
Surgery is the best option but it is also a costly one. A full recovery from an arthritis surgery is not guaranteed.
The surgical options available to your dog are arthroscopic surgery, joint fusion surgery and joint replacement surgery. Arthroscopic surgery is the most minimal and can be used to treat minor joint problems. Joint replacement surgery is expensive and recovery time can be up to 2 months. Joint replacement surgery is ideal for those dogs that suffer from hip and elbow problems. Joint fusion surgery will be used to mend damaged joints and uses metal implants to do so. Joint fusion surgery also has a recovery time of 2 months.
If your dog is suffering from hip dysplasia, Total Hip Replacement surgery is the best option. This will cost you anywhere from $5000 – $7000 dollars. Your dog must be at least 9 months old in order to be a candidate for this type of surgery. Total Hip Replacement surgery uses prosthetic implants to recreate the femur and the acetabulum. The success rate for total hip replacement surgery is said to be 95 percent and complications are minimal. You can expect your dogs to be pain free and gain more muscle mass after the surgery.
Many dogs are not ideal candidates for surgery due to multiple factors. Some of these factors include dogs being older or overweight. Remember that canine arthritis is not cured fully through surgery so be sure to consult your veterinarian for the best options available for your dog.
What if Surgery is not an Option for my Dog?
Surgery can be a scary thing, you may not want to put your dog through surgery or your dog may not be a good candidate for surgery. Surgery is also costly and you may not be financially ready to take up additional expenses. In that case, there are other options available to you in order to improve the quality of life for your dog. It all starts with good nutrition, proper weight management and lifestyle. Keep your dog on a lean diet, a diet that consist of raw meats can be beneficial. Keep them hydrated at all times as moisture lubricates their joints. Always provide warm bedding for them such as heated pads as arthritis worsens with cold temperature. Most important of all, provide them with a good joint supplement daily. Glucosamine and Chondrotin are known to help dogs suffering from arthritis or hip dysplasia.
How Much Glucosamine for Dogs?
The amino sugar called Glucosamine and the complex carbohydrate called Chondrotin can indeed help dogs with arthritis and hip dysplasia. How much Glucosamine for dogs? Luckily, we don’t have to decide that on our own, there are wonderful products out there on the market tailored to meet the needs of your dog. The quantity that your dog needs daily, will depend on the supplement that you are giving them. Always go with the recommended usage for the supplement that you are using. These are two of the best joint supplements that I can recommend to you if you have a dog that suffers from canine arthritis and hip dysplasia.
Nutramax Dasuquin with (MSM) is the best rated supplement that you give your dog suffering from arthritis or hip dysplasia. The added Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) helps reduce stiffness in your dogs joints. Many dog owners had remarkable results from using this product. If you have dog who is under 60 pounds be sure to purchase Nutramax Dasuquin with MSM for Dogs Under 60 Pounds. Here is a quote from one of the reviewers.
Another wonderful product that I can recommend is called Glyco-Flex III. These come in Bite-Sized Chews that tastes good to dogs. So if you want a cheaper option than Nutramax Dasuquin but something that works equally then this is the second best product on the market for dogs with canine arthritis and hip dysplasia.
I hope I have provided some insight into canine arthritis and hip dysplasia. If you are currently using any of these products please be sure to share your own reviews with our community. As veterinary medicines advance, hopefully one day canine arthritis can become a thing of the past. If you wish to read up more on arthritis in dogs, here is a wonderful article “relieving arthritis” by TheBark.com.