The number one problem in older dogs is Arthritis and joint pain. If you own a dog you will encounter degenerative bone disease or Arthritis if your pup lives a long healthy life. This is even more prevalent in bigger dogs, with a shorter life expectancy.
What are the signs of Arthritis in my dog?
Your dog may have a harder time getting up, may limp, may not be able to jump up on the couch anymore, or there may be very evident signs of pain.
What can be done to help my canine friend?
Humans with joint discomfort will likely be taking a supplement of glucosamine and chondroitin. Glucosamine is the main molecule for building cartilage. Condroitin is present in cartilage and connective tissue. This means you supplement the joints in you or your pet. Vets will generally prescribe Cosequin, but there are human products that are the equivalent.
What does this mean for your furry friend?
Using a supplement like glucosamine and condroitin will help keep joints healthy longer, but it is not a cure all. As your pet ages you may need a pain management system like Rimadyl, Deramaxx or Metacam, which are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory, or corticosteroids drugs for the use in dogs with pain, or Arthritis.
How is it diagnosed?
Your veterinarian can do x-rays, which will show if the cartilage is breaking down and can recommend appropriate treatment.
Things you can do with an older dog to help eliminate pain: warm and soft beds, a ramp where stairs are present, massage, and water or physiotherapy.
Always confer with your veterinarian before using any new drugs with your dog.