According to a study sponsored by Pfizer Animal Health, as many as 20% of adult dogs may suffer from arthritis...

Arthritis is an affliction that many dogs suffer from, especially as they get older. According to a study sponsored by Pfizer Animal Health, as many as 20% of adult dogs may suffer from arthritis. Just as with humans, the causes for canine arthritis are spread over a wide array of factors including genetics, previous injuries or accidents, infection, immune system problems, and excessive strain through repeated activities and exercises. If your dog does have arthritis, then canine obesity plays a significant role in the amount of pain your dog feels from. The reason for this is simple: obesity places undue stress and pressure on your dog’s joints, and can therefore accelerate the degeneration of joints and aggravate the symptoms of arthritis.

Basically, there are three general types of arthritis: Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Infectious Arthritis (Septic Arthritis). Hip Dysplasia, although not a type of arthritis is a degenerative joint disease similar to arthritis and, depending on the severity of the condition, may have similar treatment options. Osteoarthritis is commonly found to have a genetic link and usually progresses with age. The effect that osteoarthritis has on your dog can include deterioration to cartilage and bone, as well as inflammation in and around the joint. In response to this, the body produces bone spurs (a bony remodeling) around the joint structure. Treatment for this form of arthritis is usually pain medication and/or anti-inflammatory medication.

Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, is characterized by pits in the cartilage and can be treated with steroids. In rheumatoid arthritis, the dog’s immune system produces antibodies against the body’s own protein resulting in severe inflammation that damages the cartilage and surrounding tissues. Finally, Septic arthritis (infectious arthritis) is distinguished by an infection in the joint and can be treated with antibiotics. In this case, the arthritis is being caused by a bacterial, viral, or fungal infection in the dog’s joints. Any infection on your dog should be immediately checked by your veterinarian, because the dog’s bloodstream can carry an infecting organism to the joint (causing septic arthritis) from another part of the body where the infection is occurring.

The telling symptoms of arthritis are varied and can be general (as they may be symptoms that are shared with another ailment). Therefore, if your dog shows any of the following warning signs on a regular basis, have a veterinarian examine them in order to make a correct diagnosis and recommend any appropriate treatments specific to your pet’s needs.

Common symptoms of arthritis include:

  • inactivity
  • reluctance to lie down or get up
  • trouble running and climbing stairs
  • audible “clicking” sounds when walking
  • change in behavior that seems to indicate pain
  • swelling and inflammation of the joints
  • limping
  • limited movements and lack of desire to exercise

Although your veterinarian may suggest medications or even surgery to treat your dog’s arthritis, do not underestimate the power you have over minimizing the pain your dog endures at home.

A few things you can do to make your dog more comfortable and mobile, are:

  • Make sure your dog gets adequate rest so the joints may repair themselves
  • Massage the afflicted areas
  • Utilize the therapeutic coolness of a Canine Cooler dog bed to soothe swollen joints
  • Use an orthopedic dog bed to give the correct support while sleeping
  • Invest in a portable dog ramp for inside or outside the house to aid in pet mobility
  • Control or prevent obesity through proper nutrition
  • Supplement their diet with products such as Chondro-Flex or Glucosamine to promote joint repair and lubrication
  • Eliminate strenuous exercise routines and replace them with low impact activities (such as swimming, which places little or no stress on joints)

To understand a little more about how the aforementioned products can help your dog, let’s explore each one further. First off, the Canine Cooler dog bed uses SoothSoft ComfortTechnology to give your dog comfort that is second to none. The fluid-enhanced design offers a dry, long lasting cooling effect, combined with a superior cushioning support. No refrigeration is necessary; SoothSoft Comfort Technology works at room temperature. It is perfect for dogs that are always hot or panting (which means year-round in your 78-80 degree home) or dogs that simply require the therapeutic properties of cool bed to help ease the pain of joint swelling. While we think every dog should have a Canine Cooler, it is especially good for dogs with canine arthritis, calluses, thick coats, excess weight, Cushing’s Disease, hygromas, short muzzles, or dogs who are old, very large, sleep on hard floors, or are recovering from surgery or illness. Additionally, the Canine Cooler is puncture proof, non-toxic, and completely maintenance free! Other pet beds allow fleas to burrow and lay eggs, but the smooth surface of the Canine Cooler is easily wiped clean.

Dog Ramps are another way to increase your dog’s comfort and mobility at home or during travel. These highly acclaimed Indoor Pet Ramps are constructed by professional New England woodworkers, then carefully finished and protected with a lustrous, non-toxic sealer. The carpet is a free option with each purchase, but we recommend using it so your pet won\'t slip. Quality manufacturing & materials are assured in all products. Your dog or cat will love these indoor pet ramps! If you have a small a cat or dog with mobility problems, a ramp is certainly something that you should consider buying.

When looking at outdoor ramps, there are several viable options to keep in mind. The first example is the Extra Wide Half Ramp. The Extra Wide Half Ramp is well-suited for helping pets reach intermediate heights such as a couch or the side entry on a minivan. Its one-piece construction makes it easier to use than telescoping or folding ramps (and less expensive, too). The Half Ramp is 21" wide and 39" long. Furthermore, it weighs only 8 lbs., but will support over 300 lbs! It stows easily and is a cinch to carry by the convenient side handle. So, if you don\'t have an SUV or need to help your pet reach heights of 20” or less, the Extra Wide Half Ramp is the right ramp for you. Next up is the Half Step 2 dog ramp. This dog ramp was designed for indoor and outdoor use. It weighs only 11 pounds and holds up to 500 pounds, and is 39" in length. The Half Step 2 is super durable and includes a One-Year Warranty! It is perfect for getting pets into your couch or bed, or in and out of passenger vehicles.

Another outdoor ramp choice is the Telescoping Pet Ramp. The Telescoping Pet Ramp helps pets safely access vehicles, furniture, and more. It is a longer and stronger design than its predecessors, is adjustable in length from 40” to 68”, and weighs only 18 lbs. This pet ramp is made from high density polyethylene (HPDE), and is easy to clean.

Front harness: The design and construction of this support harness for dogs provides the balance and support necessary for your pet to lead a happier, healthier, cleaner life. Use of this front support harness can also help minimize your backstrain from lifting and carrying heavy animals. When fitted properly, male and female dogs can urinate freely. Harness can be cut if extra room is needed. It is designed to fit both male and female pets. Please discuss the use of this dog harness with your veterinarian. If you are unsure of how to use the harness properly, their assistance is strongly recommended for the safety and comfort of your pet.

Supplements: Arthrisoothe (liquid or tablet form; with glucosamine and chondroitin): This Veterinarian formulated, all natural active ingredient joint formula, combines chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine to make the ultimate joint formula for your dog or cat. Chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine HCl are known to supply and build glycosaminoglycans (GAGS) and collagen. These are essential for rebuilding cartilage and synovial fluid. It also contains essential antioxidants. Antioxidants are know to remove damaging free radicals. ArthriSoothe has a natural beef liver flavoring that makes for a very tasty treat.

NaturVet Glucosamine Plus for Dogs: Glucosamine Plus is a natural supplement for Dogs and Cats. Glucosamine Plus was formulated to be used as a complimentary product to ArthriSoothe. Glucosamine Plus is an effective maintenance program for your pet. It was formulated as a complimentary product to use as a maintenance program after using Arthrisoothe for a minimum period of 6 months. Glucosamine Plus costs less to feed per day than ArthriSoothe. However, we strongly recommend ArthriSoothe over Glucosamine Plus as an introductory product and recommend Glucosamine Plus as a great maintenance product or for pets with less severe conditions.

NaturVet Glucosamine Double Strength: Veterinarian formulated for the delivery of lycosaminoglycans (GAGs), necessary for rebuilding cartilage and synovial fluid, in a natural form. Glucosamine-DS Joint Formula provides dogs and cats with an important daily supplement of these nutrients and is formulated using a blend of cartilage that naturally contains GAG builders such as chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine. Beef Liver Flavoring Tastes Like A Treat!

NaturVet MSM Tablets: NaturVet\'s MSM is pure and is an excellent source of sulfur. MSM is compromised of 34% bio-available sulfur, making it the richest source of sulfur available. Each Tablet Guaranteed to Contain 500 mg. of MethylSulfonylmethane.

Veterinarians Best Hip and Joint Bites Each tablet contains 500mg of Glucosamine. A dramatic breakthrough for treatment of dogs that suffer from arthritis, stiff joints and hip dysplasia! Based on research at the National Institute for Health, Hip & Joint Formula combines benefits of Glucosamine with patented Cetyl Myristoleate in chewable wafers with a liver flavor. Cetyl Myristoleate is a powerful anti-inflammatory, reducing pain, tenderness and swelling. It also acts as a lubricant, increasing resiliency and softening body tissues. Glucosamine helps development of new cartilage and joint tissue. The combination of Glucosamine and Cetyl Myristoleate, along with boswellin, yucca, zinc, manganese and copper, provides dramatic relief for dogs that are stiff, sore, lame or suffer from hip dysplasia.

Elevated pet feeders: Veterinarians recommend elevated feeders for dogs and cats because they offer a number of advantages: hygiene and cleanliness, comfort for dogs and cats with arthritis or neck or back problems, and benefits for cats and dogs with megaesophagus or other conditions that make swallowing difficult. If your pet is now eating off of a bowl that lays flat on the floor, now is the time to get him or her an elevated pet feeder.

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