Arthritis is the second most common disease in older dogs. Our pets cannot tell us when they hurt, so understanding the symptoms of pain, then getting a definitive diagnosis allows us to create a specific treatment plan. Treatment options can range from choosing a healthy diet with exercise, to choosing appropriate supplements, biologics, and medication that best suits your pet’s needs. It is ideal to get your dog diagnosed as quickly as possible since this is a degenerative disease. While human and animal arthritis medications can be very similar, it is important that you and your pet never share medications; you have no idea how a drug and dosage will affect either of you.
Here 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 extremely important because this disease can actually affect one in five dogs. While larger dogs are typically more susceptible, it will just as easily affect a tiny Chihuahua. It is essential that you stay aware of your pet’s mood, and activity level; this way you will have a suspicion that something is causing discomfort.
Some signs that your pet may be suffering from arthritis are:
- 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 if affecting your pet and inform you about different arthritis treatments for your dog.
How Arthritis Treatment for Dogs Works
Unfortunately, while there are no known cures for it, there are many arthritis treatment options for dogs in the Tampa Bay area. Some you can do from the comfort of your own home, and others will require a veterinarian’s help.
Some treatment options include:
- Diet changes: Being overweight puts unnecessary stress on your pet’s joints, which can speed up the arthritic effects. Nearly all major pet food manufacturers offer a senior brand of food; it will be lower in calories, and higher in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, which will all help your older pet’s joints.
- Exercise: This one is entirely dependent upon what your pet can handle. Muscles that are unused can atrophy, so moderate exercise is key. You will want to start with short walks, see how they react, 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 can swim, and allowing them to move their joints while being essentially weightless is a great exercise.
- Surgery rehab: Your veterinarian may want to perform surgery to stabilize an affected joint, but this is will usually be a last resort after all other treatments have been attempted. Afterward, your pet will need therapy to aid their recovery.
Your veterinarian may also suggest some pain medications and arthritis medications such as NSAIDs. These drugs can affect every dog differently, so it is important to follow the directions for the drugs exactly and watch your dog for any adverse effects they may cause.
Why Arthritis Treatment for Dogs Will Help
It is extremely difficult to see your pet in pain, and not know how to help them. Luckily, Tampa Bay K9 Rehabilitation Center offers many different options for arthritis treatment for dogs. We have a full-service rehabilitation facility that offers individualized treatment plans to help arthritic dogs lead a pain-free and active lifestyle.
Some of the therapy services we offer are:
- Underwater treadmills
- Hot moist heat therapy
- Low-level laser therapy
- Therapeutic massage
- Limited chiropractic therapy
How to Begin
Here 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.