Your 11 years Labrador has suddenly become grumpy and sleeps longer – you did not find any difference in his weight or notice any injuries. Your dog is categorically a senior pet now. Hence, it requires the same amount of attention and care; you would render to any house senior citizen.
Make an appointment with the vet to ensure it is a normal aging process and start the treatment immediately. Possibly, your four-legged friend has arthritis. Now, arthritis is a painful condition. It results in the wearing and tearing of joints during their older age.
So, how can you ease your senior dog’s arthritis pain – well, primary care includes ample rest, restricted movements, and limited outdoor activities. Read on to get a deeper understanding of this bone and joint problem manageable with lifestyle changes and essential medication.
What are arthritis and the typical sign?
Arthritis, in medical terminology, is Osteoarthritis, which affects the joints and tendons of the body. When the bone joints and cartilages become swollen and lead to chronic pain then results in improper functioning of the limbs. This is because bones in the body have a healthy joint fluid that helps smooth movement that supports the cartilages.
But in arthritis, the joint becomes rough and rubs against each other, resulting in swelling and pain. When your pet experiences immense pain and struggles during movement, the foremost cause could be arthritis. Observe the common symptoms. It will help ascertain the reason behind its effort to move freely.
Keep a watch on your senior dog for the signs of arthritis.
- Stiffness in limbs
- Limping with movement or lameness
- Weakened muscles in the hip area and hind limbs
- Struggle or slow walk
- Bad mood, crying, feeling grumpy, or sleeping longer
- Saliva-stained fur around the joints
- Reluctant to jump, use stairs, or play
- Swollen joints with a change in skin color
Dog breeds who have a higher risk of suffering from arthritis and the respective body parts:
- Labradors – Hips and elbows
- Springer Spaniels – Hips and elbows
- German Shepherds – Spine, elbows, and hips
- Golden Retrievers – Hips
- Rottweilers – Elbows and hips
- Bernese Mountain dogs – Hips and elbows
An active breed has higher chances of suffering from wearing and tearing the joints that convert into a medical condition, lOsteoarthritisitis, particularly in its old age.
Simple tips for introducing in daily life to reduce the senior dog’s joint pain
Your old friend is in pain and needs complete rest – what could be better than creating an environment that not only boosts their health but also eases the life of a dog –
- Start the morning treat with fish supplement foods. You can introduce a jar of salmon, sardines, or mackerel from the nearby grocery store for your dog’s breakfast. Fish-based foods are the best supplement for healthy joints and tendons. It also helps in managing the inflammation that is associated with arthritis. In addition, any fish food contains Omega-3 fatty acids that boost the joints and muscle movement.
- Deactivating the house doorbell is one simple yet effective way to ease the pain of your suffering pet. Every time the door rings, your dog will reach out or become altered, eventually disturbing its rest. Many breeds go crazy and try to jump to reach for the door. It results in slipping, sliding, and pouncing from stairs. You do not want another ligament tear or bone damage during such an event. If people want to knock, they can also reach out via calling over the phone.
- Arrange for entertainment when you leave your ailing dog unattended by switching the TV or radio on. You can put their favorite channel or something they enjoy while resting. Also, ensure to fill their bowl with fresh water and some chewy toy.
- Healthy activity after a particular recovery period is an effective way to work on the muscles. Plan for short dog walks that give relief to your pet. A good arthritis walk includes taking breaks, no jumping, no stairs, and an easy walk path.
- Food therapy is the best way to boost the immunity of your suffering friend. Introduce sweet potato to the dog’s diet. Sweet potatoes are easy to digest. It tastes good and has beta-carotene that fights inflammation to combat arthritis.
- Coconut oil for massaging the limbs or affected areas daily is a great way to ease arthritis pain in senior dogs. You can take them to a dog spa for professional massages or do it yourself. Use gentle strokes that push the blood towards the dog’s heart. The massage relieves pain, relaxes the muscles, and reduces stiffness for many hours.
- Use heating pads that will help in relieving the stiffness that causes during the cold weather. Heat therapy is an ideal and safe way to heal dogs’ chronic pain. Use the warm pads for 15 minutes, then give a break of 5 minutes and repeat.
- Groom your dogs even when unwell – this ensures cleanliness and helps in proper mobility. Trimming of nails is an essential grooming activity. In addition, you must do to avoid sliding and slipping your dog.
- Introduce multiple resting stations for your pet. When your pet struggles to walk, ample rest is the best treatment. Keep beds and rugs for your dog to take a frequent break while moving around the house.
Keep some medication handy for sudden bouts of pain, like anti-inflammatory drugs, painkillers, muscle relaxants, and opioid medicines. You can also keep your vet’s number in emergency dialers for quick connection.