How To Reduce Joint Pain & Skin Disease In Dogs

From chasing soccer balls to jumping off the back wall, dogs’ joints take a beating. That can be a challenge for some dogs. More use leads to more injuries, including ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) tears and osteoarthritis in the joints.

Q: What causes canine osteoarthritis and joint problems?

A: Joint disorders can be divided into two categories: developmental and degenerative. For developmental disorders, you have things like hip or elbow dysplasia, where the joint does not develop properly in a variety of different ways.

Degenerative diseases may manifest themselves in a variety of ways. But the most common and the most common cause of arthritis in dogs is cruciate ligament issues, where the ligament is degenerating over time and causing instability and secondary osteoarthritis.

Q: What are the symptoms of joint pain?

A: Most people find that their dogs are doing less or have more trouble with everyday tasks. The dog is now having difficulty jumping up on the sofa, up the stairs, or into the back of the SUV. More athletic dogs may not be able to run as far with their owners or want to spend as much time at the dog park. It then leads to outright lameness, such as keeping the limb up or holding it funny. These are the most popular issues we encounter. Overt pain is not the first complaint we hear. Usually, it’s a slower operation.

If you’ve noticed your dog isn’t acting quite right lately, they may be suffering from joint pain. They may be suffering from an injury, illness, or disease. Or maybe they’re beginning to feel the effects of aging. When your pet is in pain, you want to do everything you can to make them feel better. But don’t try to figure out what their issue is. To find out what’s wrong, go to your veterinarian.

There are a variety of approaches that can be used to alleviate their suffering. Your veterinarian will prescribe medicine depending on the situation and your dog’s medical history.

NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)

NSAIDs, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, help humans relieve swelling, stiffness, and joint discomfort, and they can help your dog as well. They will help a dog with arthritis or one that has just had surgery.

Don’t, however, give your dog something from your medicine cabinet. Ibuprofen and acetaminophen should not be given to your dog.

Some of the NSAIDs available are specifically for dogs:

• Ibuprofen (Novox or Rimadyl)

· Deracoxib (Deramaxx)

• Firocoxib Previcox)

· Meloxicam (Metacam )

NSAIDs are generally healthy and have few side effects in dogs. They can, however, cause kidney, liver, and digestive problems in some people.

If your dog is having a bad reaction to an NSAID, you may be able to tell. The word BEST is a simple way to recall the signs:

• Changes in behavior

• Consuming fewer calories

• Scabs and redness of the skin

• Tarry stool, diarrhea, or vomiting

If you spot these signs, stop feeding your dog the prescription and call your doctor.

Aspirin is an over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). Your veterinarian can OK giving it to your dog for a limited period of time, but usually only if they have an injury or another short-term condition. It’s not recommended for long-term use in dogs due to the increased risk of side effects, including gastrointestinal bleeding. Coated aspirin is easier on the stomach, and the tablets should be taken with food. Please consult your veterinarian for advice on how often and how long to use it.

Seldom Medications

Veterinarians seldom recommend other types of painkillers because NSAIDs usually are effective at relieving pain. But often, your dog can need more choices. Your vet can talk to you about gabapentin or tramadol.

• Gabapentin is used to relieve pain caused by damaged nerves in both humans and dogs. For the first few days, it can make your dog tired, but this usually passes. Your veterinarian may recommend it alongside other medications.

• Tramadol is a pain reliever that acts in a similar way to other non-addictive opioids. Vets also offer it to elderly dogs who are in constant pain. An unsettled stomach, vomiting, and dizziness are some of the possible side effects. If you have any concerns, speak with your veterinarian.

Veterinarians offer more potent opiates only for a short time. Steroids are rarely prescribed for pain because they can have serious side effects. Steroids and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen) should never be taken together.

Alternative Supplements

Alternative treatments such as glucosamine and chondroitin are prevalent. It’s unclear if they help, but some research suggests reducing swelling and aid cartilage repair. They also can help protect and lubricate existing cartilage. Before offering your dog any drugs, including supplements, always consult your veterinarian.

Request a written copy of your pet’s care plan, as well as guidance (and a demonstration) on how to administer the medications. Be sure to offer the medication just as your vet suggests. Too much or too little of anything may be problematic. Medicines should not be shared between dogs. What is beneficial to one animal may not be helpful to another.

You may not be able to alleviate your dog’s discomfort completely, but you should be able to help them feel better. You will need to try a few different things with your veterinarian’s help to figure out what works best.

Always fond of pets with a keen interest in small dogs. My articles will center around training your small dog to become a well-behaved citizen.