Dogs are not only the most loyal and faithful creatures, but often the most positive and moving. But what if the pathological condition of the joints limits their activity, causes pain and discomfort? This happens if arthritis develops. in dogs – inflammation in the joint tissue, due to which the limbs cannot fully move. How can one help a pet, and what offers veterinary medicine to treat pathology?
- 1. Types of arthritis and the causes of its development
- 2. Symptoms of arthritis
- 3. First aid
- 4. Treatment
Types of arthritis and causes of its development
More recently, experts did not suspect that arthritis affects not only joints of people, but also of pets. And the signs pathological disorders in the animal associated with age changes. Therefore, the disease that occurs in dogs is not well studied.
There is a conditional division of arthritis into the following types:
- Genetic – detected in representatives of decorative, obtained by breeding, breeds, they initially occur cartilage mutation.
- Purulent – develops when the tissues surrounding the joint there is a focus of inflammation – due to injuries, infection by bacteria and other
- Traumatic – the causes of its development may be a blow or sprain of muscles and ligaments that are located around the joint. Between muscle and bone tissue a cavity appears in which blood and fluids get – swelling, hematoma appears. If a pathology is temporary and treatable, then arthritis is called functional.
- Rheumatoid – develops when the body is infected with bacteria, having a certain “similarity” with bone and cartilage cells. The immune system begins to attack the body to eliminate “enemy”. The rheumatoid form of the disease is classified as autoimmune pathologies that are very difficult to diagnose and treat.
- Metabolic (dystrophic) – develops on the background disturbed metabolic processes, which also affect the process cartilage renewal, which leads to their thinning. More often like the disease occurs in fast-growing puppies and dogs with large body weight.
A slippery floor can be called a provoking factor. a cover on which the dog can slip, get bruised and stretching. In the house where the dog lives, it is better not to cover the floor smooth linoleum, tile or parquet.
Symptoms of Arthritis
Arthritis is accompanied by a complex of symptoms, some of them it’s hard not to notice:
- inflamed joints increase in volume (especially this noticeable on large joints of the limbs);
- a joint affected by arthritis loses mobility, it reduced due to swelling;
- soreness – even a slight movement causes the dog severe, unbearable pain;
- the dog most of the time resting, laying on a healthy “side” of the body; if the inflammatory process is bilateral, then he can choose to relax unnatural a position that does not cause pain;
- decreased activity – the pet is reluctant to respond to the call takes a walk, can completely refuse games, is experiencing difficulty descending or climbing stairs; can not climb onto your favorite sofa, etc .;
- overweight – the dog gets fatter but eats less than usual; this is due to low mobility and activity.
The changed behavior of the pet should alert – after all, often dogs suffer pain, and only accompanying signs give that with there is something wrong with their health.
In some diseases, it turns out that care and proper care more important than taking medications. And arthritis applies specifically to diseases of this category:
- the owner must provide the pet as comfortable as possible conditions to exclude factors that may cause exacerbation painful symptoms;
- properly equip the dog’s place – lay soft a mattress or pillow, a filler capable of take on a body shape; also need a heating pad or bedspread, having heating;
- if the house has slippery floors, it is better to cover it with carpet or any other coating;
- sunbathing is good for your pet, but to reduce stress, walking time should be reduced; also worth protecting him from brothers who want to play and frolic;
- if the dog is being trained, then from classes in the group temporarily refuse, the same applies to additional courses; but when undergoing general training that provides obedience and socialization of the dog, it should not be stopped, even if there is chronic diseases;
- consider the risks of gaining extra weight – when physical the animal’s activity is reduced, it can be switched to light diet food;
- an arthritic dog is supplemented with vitamin and calcium supplements;
- water procedures have an excellent effect – they strengthen muscle tissue, relieve pain and discomfort;
- massage – if you stroke the pet’s legs in a circular motion – bottom-up, you can improve blood flow, “warm up” the muscles, reduce pain; for the procedure, you can use warming means – you can purchase it at a veterinary pharmacy;
- an important aspect is regular visits to the veterinarian – not less than 1 time in 5-6 months, this will allow timely detection changes and adjust therapy.
Experts warn that warming up inflamed areas with purulent inflammation is contraindicated. If you suspect the presence of suppuration, it is best to consult a veterinarian. The owner’s help in treating arthritis is invaluable, but only in case he does everything correctly according to the assigned scheme treatment.
As soon as the dog becomes lethargic, begins to limp and do not behave as usual, it should be taken to a veterinary clinic or call a specialist at home. Often the disease manifests itself as in a way that it is difficult to determine which joint is inflamed, affected one or more limbs.
To diagnose a pathology, the veterinarian asks the owner perform several exercises with the pet, after which he feels joints to detect inflammation. Painful reaction to touch confirms what is happening in this joint pathological process.
Later, the dog takes an X-ray of the limbs and prescribe appropriate therapy. In some cases laboratory testing of fluid accumulated in the affected joint.
When choosing a treatment, first of all, the reason is taken into account the development of arthritis, the severity of the condition and the form of pathology. Basis therapy is the use of medications from the following groups:
- painkillers, anti-inflammatory drugs (Metakam, Rimadil, Onsior) – reduce soreness and prevent the spread of inflammation; if there are no such drugs at hand, you can give your pet acetylsalicylic acid (Aspirin), but this the medicine is not suitable for long-term therapy;
- chondroprotectors (drugs containing glucosamine and chondroitin) – restore depleted, thinned cartilage tissue, strengthen and protect it from infection; they must be given to the dog for a long time time – up to six months;
- antibiotics – recommended if inflammation is caused pathogenic bacterial pathogens.
In addition, the specialist prescribes a series of exercises that should be perform with the pet. They contribute to a speedy recovery and faster rehabilitation of the patient. If during class there are signs of pain and discomfort, then they should be immediately to stop.
Therapy should be gentle, as excessive intensity can trigger the progression of the disease. With strong inflammation experts advise visiting the pool with a dog. it will strengthen the muscles, without much effort on the part of the patient animal.
A massage course and a number of physiotherapy procedures are also prescribed – electrical stimulation, thermotherapy to improve the condition of the affected joints. Prescribing treatment, vet warns that in certain situations it will be necessary to go through one, but several therapeutic courses. In addition, you will need periodically appear for preventive examinations.
Some clinics practice stem cell therapy. it an innovative arthritis treatment technique in which a dog take adipose tissue and extract stem cells from it – procedure carried out under general anesthesia. Then the resulting material is introduced into joint. The event not only eliminates the unpleasant symptomatology, but also restore damaged tissue.
If a patient with severe arthritis is admitted to the clinic, often due to severe injury, ligament rupture or fractures, then surgery may be required operations.
Arthritis, without timely treatment, can literally immobilize animal, deprive him of a full life. Therefore, it is important to treat this pathology in the initial stages, without waiting for complications.