Even though canine arthritis is incurable there are things we can and should do to alleviate suffering. The first thing to do when we notice limping, stiffness or any change in behavior due to apparent pain, is to have your veterinarian take X-rays to diagnose the symptoms. He or she may offer prescription medication which will offer immediate relief of pain. In some cases this may be necessary. These can be harmful though, and in some cases even lethal. Ask about glucosamine and chondroitin. Nootie makes an effective joint supplement with glucosamine in it. This is a perfectly natural canine joint chew which will, in time, help repair and rebuild joint cartilage. Liquid glucosamine or soft chews needs to be taken for several weeks or even months before any improvement is shown.
Depending on the veterinarian's diagnosis, physical therapy, acupuncture and swimming are additional treatments to help your dog with arthritis, together with medication and/or glucosamine. As we age we put on weight unless we restrict our calorie intake. So it is with our pets.
The additional weight puts extra strain on their joints, which then tears and thins the tissue surrounding them. Find out the correct weight for the breed of dog you have and decrease the amount at food time until the ideal weight is achieved. During the healing period it is important not to encourage your dog to do any form of exercise that would include jumping or standing on their hind legs. Your veterinarian will be glad to design both a weight-loss and exercise program. One last thing: Be sure to give him or her a warm, soft bed and lots of love.