It’s hard to tell when arthritis treatment for dogs is necessary since our pets can’t tell us when they hurt. This is why it’s important to understand the symptoms of pain and get a definitive diagnosis — especially considering that arthritis is believed to affect an estimated 20% of pet dogs over one year of age and is the second most common disease in older dogs.

Once pain is detected, and there’s a diagnosis, we can create a specific treatment plan. Treatment options can range from choosing a healthy diet with exercise, to selecting appropriate supplements, biologics, and medication that best suits your pet’s needs. We recommend getting your dog diagnosed as quickly as possible since this is a degenerative disease. While human and animal arthritis medications can be very similar, you and your pet must never share.

At Tampa Bay K9 Rehabilitation Center, we have extensive experience in treating dogs of all different ages and sizes. We will work with you to create a treatment plan that meets you and your pet’s needs.

Why Is Arthritis Treatment for Dogs Important?

Arthritis treatment for dogs is critical as it affects one in five dogs. While larger dogs are typically more susceptible, it can also affect a tiny Chihuahua. In most cases, arthritis is a result of abnormal rubbing within the joint caused by joint instability or the result of a fracture or other type of trauma. Other potential causes include autoimmune disorders, cartilage issues and joint infections. Always try to pay close attention to your pet’s mood and activity level, so it’s easier to detect when something is causing discomfort.

Here are some signs that your pet may be suffering from arthritis:

  • Favoring a limb
  • Difficulty standing up or laying down
  • Sleeping more than usual
  • Seeming to have stiff joints
  • Hesitancy or refusal to jump, run, or climb stairs
  • Less interest in play
  • Being less alert
  • Behavior change
  • Weight gain
  • Restlessness when sleeping

A few of these symptoms can be attributed to your dog getting older, but if you think that they are in pain, it is always a good idea to visit us. With a physical exam and some X-rays, we will be able to tell if a degenerative joint disease is affecting your pet and inform you about different arthritis treatments for your dog.

How Arthritis Treatment for Dogs Works

While there are no known cures for arthritis, there are many arthritis treatment options for dogs at the Tampa Bay K9 Rehabilitation Center.

Some treatment options include:

  • Diet changes: Being overweight puts unnecessary stress on your pet’s joints, which can speed up the arthritic effects. There are specific diets designed for weight loss and degenerative joint disease such as Hill’s ® Prescription Diet® Metabolic Canine food.
  • Exercise: This one is entirely dependent upon what your pet can handle. Unused muscles can atrophy, so moderate exercise is key. We will design a program, aimed at returning the patient to comfortable mobility, and over time increase the length of time spent exercising each day.
  • Hydrotherapy: This can include hot tubs, whirlpools, and controlled swimming; all of which will relax muscles, increase circulation and lessen pain. Almost all dogs are candidates for underwater treadmill therapy and allowing them to move their joints while being virtually weightless is a great exercise.
  • Surgery rehab: Many times, surgery is the best option to stabilize an affected joint. Afterwards, your pet will need rehabilitation therapy to aid their recovery.

Our veterinarian may also suggest some pain and arthritis medications such as NSAIDs or even pharmaceutical-grade cannabis. These drugs can affect every dog differently, so it is important to follow the directions for the medicines exactly and watch your dog for any adverse effects they may cause. There is now an NSAID available that has very little risk to the liver, kidneys, and intestines/stomach lining.

Why Arthritis Treatment for Dogs Will Help

It’s heartbreaking for owners to see their pets in pain, and not know how to help them. Luckily, Tampa Bay K9 Rehabilitation Center offers many different options for pain treatment for dogs. Our full-service rehabilitation facility offers individualized treatment plans to help arthritic dogs lead a pain-free and active lifestyle. We also give neurologically-compromised patients the best chance at recovery after surgery or if surgery is not the best option.

Some of the therapy services we offer are:

  • Underwater treadmill
  • Stairs
  • Ramps
  • Moist heat therapy
  • Low-level laser therapy
  • Therapeutic massage
  • Limited chiropractic therapy
  • Regenerative therapy options

How to Begin

At Tampa Bay K9 Rehabilitation Center, we are committed to restoring injured, post-surgical, and arthritic dogs to healthier, more active lifestyles. Established in 2004, we use experience and compassion to create a welcoming and comfortable environment for both you and your pet. Contact us today for more information about your arthritis treatment for dogs in the Tampa Bay area at (727) 521-3518.