Tag Archive for: osteoarthritis in dogs

When a dog gets older, its needs change. Also the care that we must give them so that their life remains full and of quality when they become senior dogs. Therefore, from a certain age, ailments can begin. And sooner than you think. Usually, each year of a dog’s life is equivalent to seven of a human. So it doesn’t take long until a dog enters middle age. Of course, first of all, you have to know when a dog can be considered senior.

Senior dogs: at what age do they become so?

In general, a dog can be considered to be seniorified during the last quarter of its life. In addition, small and medium-sized dogs become senior later than large ones. Usually, larger breeds become senior dogs by the age of seven or eight. Sometimes, a year earlier. It all depends on its size, because the larger the breed of the animal, the sooner it will be considered senior.

Meanwhile, dogs of smaller breeds begin to be considered senior around 9 or 10 years, and their life expectancy is also longer as they are smaller breeds.

Rodillera para perro

What distinguishes a senior dog

First of all, a senior dog is in no way synonymous with a sick dog. Rather it will be a dog that has entered maturity. Therefore, it has many advantages. It is an animal with some experience. In general, it is already taught and is calmer than puppies and young dogs.

Of course, this does not mean that it has become an animal that does not perform activities. It only implies that he will not be as fond of adventures as before, and that he begins to like to follow certain routines.

What care to give to senior dogs

With the maturity of a dog, the first ailments begin to appear. It also becomes necessary to start monitoring your health more carefully. Thus, it will be convenient to take you from time to time to the veterinarian for a check-up. It is the best way to control the problems that may appear in your teeth, in your fur, your vision, etc. Also to detect diseases associated with the wear and tear caused by age.

On the other hand, you have to take care of your diet to avoid overweight, which increases in senior dogs due to the reduction in physical activity associated with age. Senior dogs that are overweight may suffer from various joint ailments more often. In these cases, the dog’s knees can suffer the consequences. This, added to the fact that with maturity the joints of animals can become inflamed and osteoarthritis appears, can cause walking problems and pain.

Despite all the weight and medical checks, there are times when osteoarthritis cannot be prevented from appearing. In this case, in addition to following the treatments recommended by the veterinarian, you can help him feel better with a knee protector for his affected limbs. Or if osteoarthritis affects their hips, with a special harness for them. With it you will have more stability when it comes to moving.

Dogs can also suffer from osteoarthritis as they get older. Just like humans. This disease, caused by wear and tear on the cartilage of the limbs of animals, causes them a lot of suffering. Luckily, osteoarthritis in dogs can be treated.

Thus, among its symptoms are pains, lameness of the affected limb or stiffness. Also difficulty moving and climbing stairs. And even experience a loss of mass in the muscles, and an abnormal decrease in your appetite.

Obviously, the sooner the symptoms of osteoarthritis are detected in a dog, the sooner the most appropriate treatment can be applied. As we will see below, it will be different depending on its severity.

Artrosis en perros: los tratamientos más adecuados para aliviarla

Treatment for osteoarthritis in dogs

The first thing to do before a dog affected by osteoarthritis is several changes in its routine. All with the aim of getting the animal to have the least problems and the greatest possible autonomy. For example, if you regularly rest in a house with several floors, change your sleeping cushion to a plant where you do not have to climb stairs.

It will also be necessary to inevitably follow the instructions of the veterinarian. He will probably suggest giving the dog a treatment based on anti-inflammatories. In addition, it is likely to suggest that the animal take a compound with vitamins and minerals, in addition to collagen. With this type of compounds, what the veterinarian intends is that the cartilage stops its wear. Also prevent it from deforming.

However, we must not ignore the fact that osteoarthritis is a chronic degenerative disease. It is necessary to avoid as much as possible that the animal has pains, for which other measures can be taken. Among them, monitor your weight and prevent you from gaining excess weight. You also have to make sure that there are many fatty acids in your diet. This favors the elasticity of the joints.

You also have to make sure that the dog does light exercise. Of course, adapted to your possibilities. For example, try to take walks, but prevent it from running. On the other hand, since extreme temperatures are not suitable for osteoarthritis, you have to protect yourself from them. Thus, it is necessary to avoid exposing it to both extreme cold and excessive heat.

In very severe cases of osteoarthritis, dogs may need to replace their affected joints with prostheses. Exactly the same as what happens in older people with age-related degenerative diseases. But that is only appropriate if the situation is already very serious. Or if the veterinarian so advises. Meanwhile, they can be helped with palliative treatments. Or with protectors that provide stability.

Protectors for limbs affected by osteoarthritis

In case osteoarthritis causes enough discomfort to the dog, it is advisable to protect the limbs that are affected. For this, protectors suitable for both the animal and the disease can be used.

For example, knee protectors for dogs. Or, if the animal is already very old and suffers from advanced hip osteoarthritis, a wheelchair can help it maintain mobility. Even a suitable harness, with which dogs with mobility problems in the hind legs can achieve more stability.