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Arthritis in Dogs During the Winter




When we watch our dogs suffering with arthritis, our heart goes out to them — especially if we ourselves are suffering from the same joint disease. Arthritis in dogs is one of the main causes of chronic pain in them, a painful inflammation of a specific joint area which affects their quality of life.

The dog’s fundamental arthritic joint cannot be changed once arthritis sets in, with cushioned joints and soft tissue mass involved. And more than any other time of the year, winter is especially hard on people and dogs who have been diagnosed with this painful disease even though research has not supported this theory.

Causes of arthritis in dogs

By the time a dog reaches 7 to 10 years of age, they have more than a 60% chance of developing arthritis.  This is a process which is impossible to prevent in aging dogs but many factors are involved in younger dogs who are diagnosed with it — diet, obesity, lack of exercise, poor breeding background, genetics, joints which have been injured, and related diseases.

By being aware of what is involved in your dog’s genetics and obtaining information about arthritis, prevention or a reduction of the arthritis in young dogs can be obtained. But reading and researching will lessen the pain involved in arthritis in dogs during the winter, like warm pads or blankets on cold bare floors or uncarpeted areas. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory pain medications (NSAIDs) provide quick pain and inflammation relief associated with arthritis. NSAIDs are pain medications and require a prescription from your veterinarian.

Symptoms of arthritis in dogs during the winter

  • Less activity – dogs with arthritis have a tendency to sleep all day and have less desire to participate in active exercise because of pain in their joints.  With three types of joints in dogs (gliding joints in the ankle area; ball and socket joints in the hips; and hinge joints in the knee or elbow areas) which may be affected, the dog’s flexibility in its skeleton movement is seriously affected.
  • Joint cartilage — the cartilage is important as it protects the dog’s bones. They protect the bones which form the skeleton joint, important to overall joint health and ease of movement. Once this joint becomes diseased with arthritis, a continuous pain sets in and the dog favors the area, beginning to limp as it worsens.
  • Specific arthritis pain — the area and treatment of pain depends on the type of arthritis diagnosed (osteoarthritis is the most common, degenerative joint disease, hip dysplasia, and inflammatory joint disease).  But regardless, the symptoms involve joint pain, enlarged joints, and stiffness. Only a qualified vet can accurately diagnose the type of arthritis involved.

Natural treatments for winter dogs with arthritis

~ LIGHT THERAPY FOR ARTHRITIC DOGS

The famous Dinshah color therapy treatments suggest several tonations for dogs with arthritis: (1) for the common acute osteoarthritis or RA, use the green and magenta systems on the affected area, followed by blue or indigo; (2) for chronic osteoarthritis or RA, use lemon and magenta systems on the affected area, followed by turquoise and/indigo lights for the dog’s painful arthritic joints with orange to areas of bone atrophy.

~HYDROTHERAPY FOR DOGS WITH ARTHRITIS

Hydrotherapy is the application  of water on the affected area of arthritic dogs. The pressure is not strong but used as a gentle massage with a low to medium water flow. When the water treatment is complete, towel dry gently the area until the area s dry — followed by the rubbing of arnica tincture into the area.

~ ARTHRITIC BEDS FOR DOGS WITH ARTHRITIS

The worse thing for arthritis in dogs during the winter is lying on a cold hard surface as it irritates the joints. There are orthopedic pet beds for arthritic dogs, regular pet beds, beds made with foam rubber shaped like egg crates. But basically, any bed type which will cushion the dog’s body and insulate its body and joints from the cold hard floor will work.

~ HANDS-ON THERAPY FOR ARTHRITIC DOGS

There are many types of therapy anymore for arthritis in dogs during the winter and any other time the dog has pain from arthritis, RA, hip or elbow dysplasia, bursitis and any other related condition..

  • Acupuncture
  • Acupressure
  • Massage
  • Tellington T’ Touch
  • Therapeutic Touch
  • Myotherapy
  • Chiropractice

Additional information on arthritis in dogs:

Understanding arthritis in dogs

How to prevent dog arthritis

Dog arthritis: Signs and Symptoms



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