Prevention, treatment and care of arthritis

5th January 2016

Prevention

  • Exercise - Keep your dog fit, healthy and active by making sure it gets exercise every day.
  • Diet - Feed you dog well and check with our nurses at Bollington Veterinary Centre which food is recommended. For example, large breeds of dog need a diet carefully balanced with calcium and phosphorus especially when they are young. It's vital to get the nutrition right from the start.
  • Weight monitoring - Monitor that weight as we all know that if we become overweight, this puts more strain on our heart and joints. It’s the same for dogs. Ask one of our nursing team about our weight check clinics, and we can help you calculate and measure the right amount of food per day.
  • Moderation – Having said you need to get your dog out and about too much exercise can be just a bad for many dogs, particularly when they are young or old. If you’re not sure how much exercise is good, check with us on your next visit for advice.

Treatment and care

  • Painkillers – these are often used at the early signs of arthritis. The common drugs we can offer are non-steroidal drugs such as firocoxib, meloxicam and carprofen. These anti-inflammatory drugs are extremely effective, but must be given with care. Our vets at Bollington Veterinary Centre will be able to talk you through the potential side effects and of course the benefits. If you are thinking your dog might benefit from something like this, contact us on 01625 573375 and we can make you an appointment to speak to one of our team.
  • Nutritional supplements – you are quite likely to have heard of products containing glucosamine, chondroitin and green-lipped mussels. At Bollington Veterinary Centre we do discuss and prescribe these, but please talk to us first before you reach for a tub of pills from the Internet. It’s thought those some of these help to protect cartilage and act as mild anti-inflammatory agents.
  • Healthy diet – we all know a healthy diet is good for us, and the same goes for dogs. Avoid feeding high fat and poorly digestible diets. As vets we are also able to prescribe for your dog special diets designed to help with arthritis. If you haven’t been told of these and are interested, let us know and we can tell you how to use them.
  • Weight loss – check your dogs weight and body condition score. Being overweight will always make arthritis worse.
  • Home Comforts - If your dog has been diagnosed with arthritis, here are a few tips to make your pet more comfortable at home.
    • Use a soft supporting dog bed
    • Take your dog for shorter walks each day
    • Try massages and physiotherapy. Ask us as we may be able to refer you to an animal physiotherapist for relief
    • Use a portable dog ramp get in and out of the car