Arthritis is where you have an inflammation of the joints. And in old age for dogs it means that the joints swell and become painful and stiff. Some of the things that can cause this problem are earlier injuries such as torn ligaments. Symptoms of arthritis are lameness particularly after first getting up from lying down and unwillingness to jump or go for long walks or even getting up. Dogs will suffer more in winter time as the joints tend to swell more.
Ways in which you can manage your dogs arthritis are:
Weight management: - Feed quality food in an amount appropriate for your dog's size, breed and activity level and keep treats to a minimum; your dog should be able to maintain an ideal weight to take the pressure off their joints.If you have doubts on what you feed your dog contact your veterinarian.
Exercise: Make sure that your dog does get regular exercise in shorter sessions this is always better than long work-outs on weekends. Warming the muscles prior to exercise and following exercise with a "warm-down" period are beneficial. Daily exercise will ensure that they maintain their correct weight.
Exercise that provides good range of motion and muscle building as well as limiting wear and tear on the joints is best. Leash walks, swimming, walking on treadmills, and slow jogging are excellent low-impact exercises. Keep in mind that whatever exercise program you select it should be individualized for each dog based on the severity of the arthritis, his weight, age, and physical condition. If in doubt consult with your veterinarian regarding an exercise program appropriate for your dog.
Sleeping areas: Cold and damp weather will aggravate the symptoms, keeping your dog warm, with a pet sweater and keep the temperature in the house a bit warmer. Sleeping areas: Beds with dome-shaped, orthopedic foam distribute weight evenly and reduce pressure on joints. They are also much easier for the pet to get out of. Place the bed in a warm spot away from drafts.
Massaging: Massage your dog to help relax the muscles and provide a range of motion to the joints. Begin slowly as your dog will be in pain. Start gently kneading the muscles around the joint with your fingertips using small, circular motions. Gradually work your way out to the surrounding muscles.
Every Day: Climbing stair becomes difficult for dogs with arthritis. Dog owners will tend to build or buy ramps, especially on stairs leading to their yard, to make it easier for their dogs to go outside.
Dogs don't need to suffer greatly from arthritis, there are many things as a dog owner you can do to help them manage their pain.