Joint inflammation is common in dogs and can cause your pup significant pain. While there are no cures for joint inflammation, there are treatments that can help your dog live a more comfortable life.
What Is Canine Joint Inflammation?
Canine joint inflammation is a common problem among dogs. It affects the joints and leads to pain. The most common medical condition associated with joint inflammation is called arthritis. When you think of arthritis, you may picture elderly or achy joints. While it is true that arthritis can develop in older dogs, it also affects middle-aged and young dogs.
The most common joints affected are the hips, elbows, and shoulders. An injury or trauma can cause inflammation in the joint tissues. However, most cases are due to age-related degeneration. According to a recent study uploaded on the NCBI website, age is one of the dogs’ biggest risk factors for developing osteoarthritis.
Moreover, the occurrence of canine joint inflammation problems is high. The same study from the NCBI website also shows that around 20% of dogs aged over 1 year have osteoarthritis in North America.
Why Does My Dog Need Treatment?
Joint inflammation can be painful for your dog and can even lead to arthritis. In addition to causing pain, joint inflammation can cause stiffness and decreased mobility. An NCBI article states that osteoarthritis resulting from joint inflammation can lead to a reduced range of motion, difficulty moving and climbing, and reduced physical activities. Your dog may have trouble getting up or moving around. He may even limp or cry out when he moves.
It’s important to treat an inflamed joint because, if left untreated, joint inflammation can cause arthritis in your dog’s joints and other serious health issues. Arthritis is a condition that causes chronic pain and stiffness in your pet’s joints. If you think your dog has arthritis and needs treatment for arthritis pain relief, please schedule an appointment with his veterinarian immediately so he can start treatment.
How to Know If My Dog Has Joint Inflammation?
It’s not always easy to tell if your dog has joint inflammation. The signs of joint inflammation can be subtle and go unnoticed for a long time, or they can be evident and alarming.
If you think your dog might have arthritis, it will help your vet to know as much about his symptoms as possible. If you know that he is arthritic, then this will also help your vet treat him effectively. Some of the common symptoms of joint inflammation include the following:
- Decreased activity
- Reluctance to move
- Difficulty rising
- Stiffness after rest
- Signs of pain, such as vocalization, panting, or trembling
- Swelling and heat may be present in the affected joint giveme5
Treatment Options for Joint Inflammation
The treatment for joint inflammation in dogs depends on the causes. However, there are some common treatment options available.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) treat inflammation and reduce pain in dogs. They are one of the most common treatments for arthritis, but they can also be helpful for other musculoskeletal problems that cause inflammation and pain in your dog’s joints.
The main action of NSAIDs is to block enzymes called COX-2 inhibitors, which are responsible for producing prostaglandins that promote inflammation in the body. This helps reduce swelling and stiffness in your dog’s joints and eliminate pain associated with arthritis.
NSAIDs are typically taken orally once or twice daily, depending on how often your veterinarian has prescribed them. The most common side effects include vomiting and diarrhea. If these issues persist over time, it may be necessary to stop taking NSAIDs until they pass or until another treatment option can be found instead.
One of the most common NSAIDs taken for joint inflammation treatment is Metacam. It is an FDA-approved drug used across 30 countries. Metacam for dogs has been used for over 20 years to treat and manage joint inflammation pain. You must not combine Metacam with other NSAIDs as it can lead to severe side effects. It is always best to consult your vet before giving the Metacam medication to your dog.
Joint Supplements and Diets
There are a few different options for treating your dog’s joint inflammation. You can opt to give him a supplement or change his diet altogether. If you choose to make dietary changes, you’ll want to consider what food will be best for your dog’s recovery from joint inflammation. Your vet may also recommend supplements that work with the foods you feed him.
The first step is finding out what kind of outward symptoms are present and then figuring out how severe those symptoms are. Is he limping? Are there any hot spots on his joints? The more information you have about how much pain and discomfort your pet is in, the better equipped your vet will be to provide an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan that works best for both of you.
Diet can significantly impact your dog’s weight, physical health, and joint pain. Some of the foods that can help with arthritis in dogs are prescription food, raw food, vegan food, and vegetarian food. Also, supplements like omega-three fatty acids can help treat joint inflammation.
Managing Your Dog’s Weight
Weight management is a key component of managing your dog’s joint inflammation, so it’s essential to monitor and maintain your dog’s weight. Sadly, most pet owners don’t prioritize managing dogs’ weight. According to the American Kennel Club, 56% of dogs are overweight. If you aren’t familiar with the process, here are some steps to take:
- Measure your dog’s weight simultaneously and in the same place every day.
- An overweight dog will have an overall rounded or chubby appearance, including noticeable fat deposits on its abdomen and excess skin around its neck and face. If you see these signs in your pet, speak with your veterinarian about reducing their daily food intake.
- A healthy weight for a medium-sized adult dog like yours should fall between 40-50 pounds, depending on age and breed type.
A healthy joint is essential to your dog’s mobility and quality of life. So if your dog is experiencing joint inflammation, you must take steps to help manage the pain and inflammation associated with this condition. One way to do that is by ensuring that you get your dog moving daily.
For many dogs, getting outside will be enough exercise when managing arthritis or other joint conditions. However, if you want more assurance that your pet is getting enough physical activity every day, try adding in a few weekly low-impact exercises like swimming, playing fetch or tug-of-war games, and practicing tricks like jumping through hoops or catching balls in midair. These activities will keep both mind and body busy while helping build strength throughout those sore joints.
You must keep your dog’s joints healthy, so when she shows signs of joint inflammation, take her to the vet as soon as possible. If you can manage her weight, provide plenty of exercises and a balanced diet, and keep her from developing obesity or arthritis in the first place by keeping her active and eating well.
If you catch it early enough, treatment for canine joint inflammation is usually successful. Dogs diagnosed with arthritic conditions can live long lives with minimal discomfort if they receive proper care.