The Next Generation in Joint Care for Dogs

Choosing The Next Generation in Joint Care for Dogs

When dog joint problems begin to rear their ugly head, it can be tough on anyone with a dog. Perhaps your buddy is slowing down, whimpering as one walks, or possibly constantly licking the affected joint.

dog-with-osteoarthritisDog joint problems are not in order to become taken lightly, and in the event that do factors five things for your dog, seeing truly show how much you care.

Purchase a Ramp for Dog. Ramps are a good quality option decrease your dog’s stress while climbing stair case. Make sure that your dog isn’t jumping on front legs constantly.

Have wood or tile floors? Cover them! Tile, wood, or vinyl flooring is usually smooth and quite often times very slick at first glance. Because of this, your puppy may possess a hard time getting traction and may slip and slide around on all of them with. When a dog has trouble like this, they normally look at compensate by “running”. Pearly white teeth normally accomplishes is the dog falling more than the the floor. If you can’t cover the floors with bath rugs or carpeting, get a cat gate removed Fido associated with your these areas if possible.

Supplementation

We desire to avoid medication, because more times than not, chemical medicines, including aspirin and acetaminophen, can turn your dog’s body such as tetanus bacteria. This can end in more problems than in which we going. Instead, use a homeopathic treatment like ChondroPaw® that is the fastest, safe and effective natural supplement to support and maintain your dog joints and connective tissue and is proven to relieve pain, reduce swelling & inflammation, lubricate and promote flexibility. chondropaw-multi-symptom-homeopathic

This last step could work most powerful, so don’t overlook the ability of through supplements.

Other than this there are specific types of medications that you need to avoid. Arthritis treatment in dogs should be well scheduled. Try to provide your dogs with foods that functions as dog arthritis procedure.

He may have great problems in moving easily or he could also have swelling in the joints. He could even experience the pain while moving directory the stairs or while playing and running with you.

Older dogs can have attention-span disorders. You know how people tend to obtain more child-like once they get individuals .? Dogs do too. They can revert back to numerous puppy-like character. One of those qualities can be considered shortened attention span. Good training older dog efforts take this into provider.

However sight hounds such as Grey hounds seem to leave this horrible disease. Endurance exercises add stamina and help to keep up a healthy weight. They do not even aboard the dog to take the first queue.

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Golden Retriever with Hip Dysplasia

Golden Retriever with Arthritis and Hip Dysplasia

Golden Retriever with Arthritis

Golden Retriever with Arthritis Overview

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the definition of arthritis is “inflammation of joints.” Arthritis can be caused by many different things and conditions, such as infection (especially from a tick-borne diseases), immune-mediated disease, trauma, and problems with the metabolism. The most common form of arthritis in dogs, however, is due to degenerative changes in joints which is caused by developmental problems, age or overuse.

Golden Retriever with Arthritis

While all dogs regardless of age or breed can be affected by arthritis, certain factors increase a dog’s risk factor. Poor conformation, for example, can make a dog much more likely to develop arthritis. Large breeds, such as Labrador retrievers, golden retrievers, and German shepherds are more prone to arthritis, and obese dogs are more likely to develop it than dogs that are fit. Also, older dogs are prone to arthritis because of the years of wear and tear on their joints.

Types of arthritis seen in dogs

Osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease (DJD): This is the long-term deterioration of the cartilage surrounding the joints. This cartilage allows the joint a pain free range of motion.  When the cartilage becomes inflamed or wears down, your pet will most likely experience pain.

Hip dysplasia: This is a genetic disease that results in malformation of the hip joint (a ball-and-socket joint). Chronic inflammation of the hip joints occurs because of misalignment, and the cartilage in the joint gradually deteriorating, causing pain and inflammation. There are various surgical procedures available to help dogs with hip dysplasia, as well as medications that can help alleviate the pain associated with it.

If you are considering owning a purebred puppy that may be at risk for hip dysplasia, consider getting a puppy from a local breeder who has had both parents certified against hip dysplasia and other inherited forms of joint disease by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA). To learn more about OFA certification, visit their Web site at www.offa.org Genetic screening for hip dysplasia is available for  Golden Retrievers and Labradors, as well, using the Hip Dysplasia DNA Dysgen Test®.

Golden Retriever Hip and Joint

Elbow dysplasia:

This is a hereditary disease in which the bones do not develop normally, causing misalignment of the joint, damage to the cartilage, and even chipping of the bones, which leads to chronic inflammation. This is most common in larger-breed dogs like Golden Retrievers and German Shepard and is thought to be inherited.  Surgery is often needed to correct this problem.

Knee dysplasia:

Some dogs, especially small toy breeds, will have malformed knee joints. As seen with hip and elbow dysplasia, this is an inherited conformational defect that causes arthritis. Some of these smaller breed dogs will be effected by knee caps that pop in and out of position; the medical term for this is “luxating patella.” A dog suffering from this will limp until the knee cap returns to the correct position. Surgery is often needed to correct knee dysplasia.

Signs & Symptoms

Arthritis can be mild to severe; your four-legged pooch may experience different signs depending on the severity of the arthritis.

Signs and symptoms include:

  • Lameness
  • Swollen joints
  • Popping and cracking during joint movement
  • Muscle atrophy (the muscles around the joint become smaller)
  • Licking area around joint
  • Slow to get up from a resting position
  • Loss of appetite or unusual weight gain in some cases
  • Unwillingness to walk, jump, or climb stairs
  • Accidents in the house
  • Vocalizing pain by whining or whimpering
  • Depression or aggravation
Golden Retriever with Hip Dysplasia

Diagnosis & Treatment

In order to treat your dog’s arthritis, your vet will want to perform a thorough physical exam and take a complete history of your pooch. Your vet will perform simple motion tests and observe your dog’s movements.

They may recommend the follow additional tests, as well:

  • Antibody/Antigen tests to identify if your pet has been exposed to tick-borne diseases, such as Lyme disease
  • PCR testing, if necessary, to confirm exposure to certain diseases
  • Chemistry tests to evaluate kidney, liver and pancreatic function as well as sugar levels
  • A complete blood count to screen for infection, inflammation, or anemia
  • Urine tests to screen for urinary tract infections and other diseases, and to evaluate the kidney’s ability to concentrate urine
  • A thyroid test to determine if the thyroid gland is producing too little thyroid hormone
  • Radiographs (x-rays) of the joints and back
  • Joint fluid analysis to help evaluate the cause

Once your dog has been diagnosed with arthritis, your vet will recommend a treatment protocol tailored to your pet’s specific needs. Treatments may include:

  • Treating the underlying cause of arthritis, if possible
  • Prescribing medications or supplements to help with pain
  • Dietary management, if your dog is overweight
  • Nutritional supplements thought to help lubricate the joint and help rebuild joint cartilage such as Chondroitin
  • Surgery for the various dysplasias, as outlined above
  • Joint Health Supplement for Dogs like Chondropaw

If your dog is put on a medication such as a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, your vet may recommend routine lab tests on blood and urine to monitor your pet’s tolerance to the medication. Make sure you follow all recommendations from your vet and call immediately if your dog’s condition gets worse.

Prevention

While not all forms of arthritis are preventable, you can help reduce your dog’s risk as well as the severity of the disease by ensuring your pooch gets plenty of appropriate low impact exercise,eats properly to support slow growth in puppies and to maintain lean body weight, and that you contact your vet early if you think your pet may have arthritis.

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Dog analgesic for Arthritis

Relief For Dog Arthritis

Relief For Dog Arthritis

Strategies to ease your dog’s arthritis pain

The easy run becomes a difficult walk; the jump to a couch is no longer possible; lying down is accompanied by a deep groan. As our dogs age, things that were once second nature become an effort. Today, thanks to advances in veterinary medicine and companion animal care, many dogs are living to a ripe old age. On the downside, that longevity also increases the odds that they’ll suffer from some form of degenerative joint disease (DJD), or osteoarthritis. There are several types arthritis in canines, but in this article, we’ll address the most common form, the age-related degenerative form.

Relief For Dog Arthritis

As dogs get older, the cartilage surfaces of their joints begin to thin, and cartilage cells die. When the cells die, they release enzymes that cause inflammation of the joint capsule and release of excessive joint fluid. Extra bony growths (osteophytes) can develop. With severe cartilage thinning, the normal joint space narrows and the bone beneath the cartilage deteriorates. All of these processes set in motion further changes in the normal functioning of the dog’s joint, and an ongoing spiral of pain, lameness, limb inactivity and muscle atrophy sets in.

On physical exam, veterinarians rely on a dog’s pain response to joint palpation, detection of crepitus (a crackling or grating sensation felt within the joint), observation of gait and the presence of muscle atrophy to diagnose osteoarthritis.  Not all dogs—even those with significant Degenerative  Joint Disease—vocalize when they’re in pain, but a dog whose muscles are atrophied and limbs are stiff, who requires assistance to get up, and does little more than wander outside to go to the bathroom is usually suffering pain.

veterinarians rely on a dog’s pain response to joint palpation

DJD isn’t the only reason for a decrease in a dog’s activity level, weakness or reluctance to move, so other conditions that could be causing or contributing to this change need to be ruled out. Among the entries on a lengthy list are infections and metabolic illnesses, heart conditions, cancer (particularly bone cancer), anemia, and endocrine conditions such as hypothyroidism or Cushing’s disease. In a perfect world, all dogs would start life with genetically sound conformation and joints. For purebreds, the importance of responsible breeding and the use of OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) certification or other screening tests to evaluate hip and elbow conformation of prospective breeding animals cannot be overstated. Regardless of a dog’s origins, feeding her a quality diet throughout life and maintaining him/her at optimal lean body weight is also crucial. If the pet is overweight, a healthy weight reduction plan should be initiated immediately.

When it comes to relief, reaching for a single solution pharmaceutical is rarely the most effective approach. Rather, best results are achieved by working with your vet to develop a plan tailored to help with your dog’s specific issues. An integrative, multimodal therapy regime can maximize your dog’s comfort and well-being as it minimizes the potential side effects of certain therapies, and is also often more gentle.

Following are a strategies that have been found to be beneficial.

At Home: Provide well-padded comfortable bedding away from cold or damp drafts. (This will also help prevent the development of pressure-point calluses.) Carpeted or padded steps or a ramp to get on and off the bed or couch are helpful. Nonskid flooring wherever surfaces are slippery is also very helpful. Outside, your dog may find a gently sloped ramp easier to negotiate than stair steps.

Body work: Many arthritic dogs appreciate muscle massages, which stimulate blood flow to atrophying muscles. Certified canine massage therapists are available in most metro areas of the country; many are willing to demonstrate techniques to owners.  Warm compresses over sore joints can be soothing, but care must be used to avoid injury from excess heat.

Supplementation:  Joint supplements are available to promote healthy cartilage and joint health. These contain varying combinations of chondroitin,  herbs and other chondroprotective substances. Many veterinarians and owners have found that a small number of these products are to be helpful. We don’t yet know whether beginning supplementation at a young age benefits every dog. This decision is best made with your veterinarian, taking into consideration factors such as diet and genetics/conformation (e.g., has a dog been diagnosed early on with hip or other joint abnormalities?). The anti-inflammatory effects of omega-3 fatty acids (EPA, DHA) have also been documented to be of help in dogs with arthritis. These are included in some canine arthritis diets, but to be effective, higher levels via separate supplements may be needed.

Exercise: Maintaining mobility through moderate exercise is important regardless of a dog’s age and the extent of her arthritis. (We are convinced that what keeps certain dogs going to later years is daily quarter-mile walks at a normal pace.) A dog with mild, early arthritis can and should get more exercise than an older pooch with severe cartilage erosion. Non-weight–bearing exercise— swimming, for example—is excellent if not contraindicated by other medical conditions. Look for a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner (CCRP) for help with designing an appropriate exercise program.

Complementary therapy: Many arthritic dogs can be made more comfortable and have greater range on motion in joints with Acupuncture. Alternative veterinary practitioners sometimes prescribe formulations of Chinese herbs to support the benefits of acupuncture.

Laser: Class IV Laser therapy is a new form of treatment that stimulates blood flow to tissues and can greatly improve arthritic conditions.

Pharmaceuticals: When it comes to drugs, there are several options. Adequan injections have long been considered the gold standard for treating arthritis and other degenerative joint diseases in dogs (can be very expensive). A potent chondroprotective agent, Adequan (polysulfated glycosaminoglycan, or PSGAG) provides the body with the building blocks of cartilage it needs to assist in repairing its own tissues. Unfortunately, it is often not employed because the initial treatment consists of six injections over three weeks, and it is somewhat expensive. However, rarely have we seen an arthritis patient it did not help, and in senior dogs, we get clear reminders if  one of their maintenance injections is forgotten (every three to six weeks, depending on the dog). Adequan is largely without side effects; the main reported side effect is the potential for increased bleeding, but in 20 years of being used in hundreds of patients (including von Willebrand disease-affected dogs), we have never encountered this problem.

We can add an analgesic such as Tramadol, a synthetic opioid. While not an anti-inflammatory, tramadol is a fairly potent pain medication, as well as being inexpensive and reasonably safe. Sedation and constipation are possible side effects, but in our experience, dogs tolerate tramadol wonderfully within the proper dose range. Gabapentin and amantadine also target the nervous system, altering the transmission and strength of pain signals.

Dog analgesic for Arthritis

We can elect to try a steroid for its anti-inflammatory effect. The caveat with steroids is,  that over time they have a “breakdown” effect on body tissues, including joints. Moreover, if used for any length of time, they may contribute to the development of diabetes, medically caused Cushing’s disease, liver inflammation, immune suppression or other problems. In order to prevent gastric erosion or ulceration, vets will often prescribe medications such as histamine blockers (famotidine, cimetidine), proton-pump inhibitors (omeprazole) or gastrointestinal protectants (sucralfate). If ulcer symptoms develop, steroids should be discontinued. All this having been said, many older dogs with advanced arthritis can get four to eight weeks of benefit from a long-lasting steroid injection.

If none of the above provides sufficient relief, one of the veterinary NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) might be considered. Canine NSAIDs include Rimadyl, EtoGesic, Deramaxx, Previcox, Metacam and Feldene. While these drugs are highly effective at reducing inflammation and pain, they should not be casually dispensed. We suggest using them on a very limited basis with extreme caution.

Few drugs are without possible side effects. The potential side effects of veterinary NSAIDs are numerous; they can be severe, and even fatal; their development can be completely unpredictable; and most importantly, they can be irreversible.  All Vets hold to the “above all, do no harm” portion of their oath close to heart at all times. Unpredictable, irreversible side effects are scary.

For dogs whose systems tolerate an NSAID well, they can be wonderful. However, far to many dogs, including healthy non-geriatrics, have succumbed to irreversible organ-system failure from sometimes no more than a few days’ worth of NSAID therapy. We  have also heard of fatalities from perforating gastric ulcers, seizures and other “adverse events.” The FDA has documented thousands of such deaths, which by their own estimation represent a fraction of total cases.

Blood work should be done before an NSAID is dispensed to confirm normal liver and kidney function, red blood cell count, and other parameters. These tests should be repeated at regular intervals to confirm that the NSAID is being tolerated. Ask your veterinarian for a copy of the pharmaceutical company’s Client Information Sheet; he or she should also advise you about symptoms to watch for, including any increase in water consumption or urination which is very important. The medication should be stopped immediately if symptoms develop. NSAIDs must never be given with aspirin or any form of steroid; doing so can result in death.

And please, do not give your dog over-the-counter pain medicines without consulting your veterinarian! Dogs have died tragic, unnecessary deaths from a variety of seemingly innocuous pills, including a healthy dogs whose owners gave them several days’ worth of Ibuprofen, which is toxic to dogs (and, for that matter, cats too).

dog therapy supplement

Let’s strive to support fit, structurally sound dogs; maintain them with excellent nutrition and age and breed appropriate exercise and at optimal body weights; and begin supplemental integrative therapies when they show symptoms of and are diagnosed with degenerative arthritis. Let’s work our way up to the various solutions prudently and judiciously.

Here’s to long, happy and comfortable lives for all our dogs!

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Most Common Dog Health Problems

Most Common Dog Health Problems

 

Our dogs are faithful companions, and they depend on us for good care. To help your dog live a healthy life, you should know some of the most common health problems dogs face, their signs, and what you can do for them.

Dogs and Ear Infections

Ear infections are a common dog health problem, and they can be caused by allergies, yeast, ear mites, bacteria, hair growth deep in the ear canal, and more. Symptoms your dog may have with an ear infection include:

  • Head shaking or head tilting
  • Bad ear odor
  • Always scratching
  • Showing problems with balance
  • Unusual back-and-forth eye movements
  • Red or irritated ear canal
  • Swelling around outer portion of the ear
  • Brown, yellow, or bloody discharge

Always take your dog to the veterinarian if you think he has an ear infection. In most cases, cleaning and medicating the ear canal should quickly clear up an infection. However, surgery can be needed for chronic infections or if forceful head shaking results in the rupture of a vessel within the outer part of the ear.

Dogs and Worms

vTapeworms, Roundworms,Hookworms, and Whipworms are common internal parasites in dogs. And although any worm infestation can make your pooch uncomfortable, some, like hookworms, can be fatal in puppies. Signs your dog may have worms include:
  • Diarrhea (may be bloody)
  • Weightloss
  • A change in appetite
  • A rough or dry coat
  • Scooting on his bottom
  • Vomiting (with roundworms in particular)
  • An overall poor appearance
 The best way to diagnose a worm problem is with a visit to the vet. Treatment depends on which type of worm your dog has, but generally includes an oral medication and may require follow-up. Don’t try treating worms yourself: A medication that kills roundworms, for example, doesn’t kill tapeworms.

Fleas and Your Dog

It takes just three weeks for one flea to turn into an infestation of 1,000 biting bugs. A very common dog health problem, fleas are easy for your dog to pick up but they’re also easy to treat. Signs your dog may have fleas include:

  • Excessive scratching, licking, or biting at the skin
  • Hair loss
  • Hot spots
  • Allergic dermatitis (response caused by contact)
  • Tapeworms (carried by fleas)
  • Flea dirt (looks like small black dots) against your dog’s skin

Untreated, fleas not only make your dog intensely uncomfortable, they can also cause allergic reactions, infections, and even lead to anemia from blood loss.Talk to your vet about the right flea medicine for your dog, which may include collars, oral medicine, shampoos, sprays, or topical liquids.

Fleas and Your Dog

How to Help Hot Spots in Your Dog

They’re commonly known as hot spots, but the medical term for those bare, inflamed, red areas you often see on dogs is acute dermatitis — a bacterial skin infection. Anything that irritates your dog’s skin enough to make him scratch or chew can lead to the pain and itch of hot spots, which, if left untreated, can quickly grow and expand.

A hot spot’s location can help your vet diagnose its cause. Fleas, for example, may be the source of a hip hot spot, while a hot spot at the ear might point to ear problems.

Treating hot spots may involve shaving and cleaning the irritated area,antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), steroids, or topical medications, depending on how bad the hot spots are, and how much pain your dog is in.

Common Dog Health Problem: Vomiting

Vomiting is a common health problem in dogs, with dozens of possible causes, from infection or intestinal parasites to pancreatitis, kidney failure, heatstroke, or poisoning.

Symptoms are basic: abdominal heaving and drooling caused by nausea. Also, If your dog  has diarrhea, blood in their vomit, seems lethargic, continues vomiting, or can’t hold down liquids, contact your vet right away to prevent life-threatening dehydration.

Treatment depends on what’s causing the dog’s distress, and may include fluid therapy, drugs to control vomiting, and homemade foods like well-cooked skinless chicken, boiled potatoes, and rice.

Doggy Diarrhea

Diarrhea in dogs, as with vomiting, can have lots of causes, including stress, infections like parvovirus, intestinal parasites, and food sensitivative.

Diarrhea symptoms are pretty obvious — look for loose, watery, or liquid stool.

Because diarrhea can easily lead to dehydration, be sure your dog has plenty of clean water available, then take your dog to the vet if the diarrhea persists for more than a day, or immediately if there is fever, lethargy, vomiting, dark or bloody stools, or loss of appetite.

Dog Joint Pain

As  dogs age they start to have problems with their joints.  Depending on the cause, arthritis may affect one or any number of your dog’s joints. … Most cases develop as a result of abnormal rubbing within the joint caused by joint instability (e.g. after ligament damage), damage to or abnormal cartilage development, or damage caused by trauma (e.g. fractures).

We all hate to see our dogs suffer and a great supplement to help alleviate this condition is Chondropaw.  It is an all-natural pharmaceutical grade Chondroitin supplement with herbs.

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