My Dog has Arthritis in Her Elbows. What Should I Do?
Osteoarthritis in dogs (often referred to simply as arthritis) is the most common degenerative joint disease. It affects the joints causing pain, stiffness and reduced mobility. It is a chronic condition that typically develops over time, and therefore is more commonly seen in older dogs, although it can affect dogs of all ages, especially if they have a condition such as hip dysplasia. Often arthritis or osteoarthritis in the hip joints is due to hip dysplasia. For some dogs who have had a mild form of hip dysplasia which has gone undetected for most of their lives, only begin to show symptoms when they are much older and have developed arthritis of the hips.
While arthritis in dogs sadly cannot be cured, a blend of measures can help to manage the condition and improve your dog's quality of life. Often it is through a combination of treatments that the best results are achieved. It can also be a case of trial and error in finding out which combination works best for your individual dog, so a regime which has worked really well for one dog, may not have the same results on another.
Helping Arthritis At Home
You should consult your vet for the best treatment plan for your individual dog. However, here are some things which you can do yourself at home to help your dog.
- Weight management - Maintaining a healthy body weight is crucial to reduce stress on arthritic joints and minimise inflammation and damage
- Low impact exercise - Regular, low-impact exercise helps maintain joint mobility and muscle strength. Swimming or hydrotherapy is often recommended as excellent ways to exercise your dog with minimal stress on joints
- Joint supplements – Supplements which include glucosamine and chondroitin support joint health and reduce arthritic symptoms. In addition, research has shown that foods which provide high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, can help decrease inflammation also
- Orthopaedic aids - Orthopaedic beds, ramps, slings and braces etc. can all help improve your dog's comfort
- Elbow brace - This suports the elbow joint, reduces pain and makes activity more omfortable for your dog, see elbow braces here https://zoomadog.co.uk/collections/dog-elbow-braces
Read more about Elbow Dysplasia and Weakness - Causes, Prevention and How to Help https://zoomadog.co.uk/collections/dog-elbow-dysplasia-and-elbow-weakness
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