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By: Steve Weber
Your older pet may have dog arthritis if he or she is limping for no apparent reason, having trouble going up or down stairs, or if he or she seems to be having problems getting up or lying down.

Almost all dogs get this joint disease as they grow old. Usually, larger breed dogs suffer from canine arthritis more so than do small breed dogs because the larger dogs have more stress on their joints with the added weight.

Dog owners should know there is no cure for arthritis. All we can do is minimize the symptoms as safely and as much as possible. Dog arthritis is a progressive disease and usually worsens with age. If you suspect your pet may have arthritis, it is important to take him or her to the vet for a proper diagnosis.

If the veterinarian does confirm the presence of osteoarthritis, he or she will suggest several possible treatments. Before I get to those treatments, let's talk about some things you can do without drugs to help your dog with arthritis symptoms.

First, make sure your dog is not over weight at all. This is very important because the added weight can cause significant stress on the diseased joints. The symptoms of arthritis will be greatly exaggerated with the added stress. It can be hard to trim the weight off an older dog, but it is very important. A caring owner will make sure their dog is not burdened by the extra pounds.

Next, it is very important for the arthritic dog to get the correct amount of exercise. There is no set correct amount as all dogs are different. You must gauge the correct amount for your specific dog. If the dog arthritis is allowed too much exercise, he will suffer more symptoms and pain. Too little exercise means the muscles around the joints weaken and this too causes added stress on the joints. Pay close attention to your dog and try to provide the best amount and type of exercise suited for him or her.

Lastly, in my opinion, all older dogs should be given a daily dose of glucosamine. It is a natural supplement that is completely safe. The glucosamine, often given to dogs in the liquid form, supplies the needed building blocks for the damaged joint tissue to regenerate and repair itself. There are no side effects or other dangers for the dog when using glucosamine to treat dog arthritis.

The veterinarian may suggest prescribed medications for the arthritic canine. Be sure to ask the vet about all the possible side effects of these drugs. Also, go online and search for the drug and read about the problems associated with using it to treat dog arthritis. You may be surprised at what you find about some of these drugs. Although the vast majority of these prescriptions will help dogs, there are a significant number of dogs severely injured and even killed by some of the drugs. Just be aware of the side effects and what to watch out for.

Other tips for helping your dog with arthritis is to keep him warm in the winter, offer him a soft place to sleep (old bones like soft, cozy places to sleep!), and you may need to buy or build ramps for outside stairs, and dog steps for inside beds or furniture (if they are used to sleeping there).


Go to our blog and learn how canine owners are managing osteoarthritis in dogs and all-natural glucosamine supplements without side effects or high costs.
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