Arthrose beim Hund: was du wissen musst und wie du helfen kannst

Osteoarthritis in dogs: what you need to know and how you can help

Osteoarthritis in dogs: what you need to know and how you can help

Your dog is more than just a pet to you - he is a family member. That's why it's especially difficult to see him in pain. A common cause of this is osteoarthritis. In this detailed article we will explain everything you need to know about “arthrosis in dogs”. We also give you concrete tips on how you can help your dog with osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis - a widespread disease

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that is unfortunately very common in dogs. It occurs when the protective cartilage that normally acts as a shock absorber between the joints becomes worn down. Loss of this cartilage leads to pain, inflammation and stiffness in the affected joint. Osteoarthritis can affect any joint in your dog's body, but most commonly occurs in the hips, knees, elbows, and shoulders. Although osteoarthritis is often associated with age, young dogs and even puppies can also be affected, especially if they have a genetic predisposition to it.

Symptoms of osteoarthritis in dogs

The symptoms of osteoarthritis can vary depending on the severity of the disease and the joint affected. Some common signs to look out for include:

  • Lameness or stiffness, especially after standing up or after prolonged physical activity
  • Swelling or warmth in the area of ​​the affected joints
  • Loss of mobility in the joints
  • Decreased activity or interest in activities your dog normally enjoys
  • Behavioral changes such as increased panting, restlessness or aggressiveness that could indicate pain

How you can help your dog with osteoarthritis

Although osteoarthritis is a chronic and incurable disease, there are several steps you can take to relieve symptoms and improve your dog's quality of life.

Weight control

Being overweight can increase stress on joints and worsen osteoarthritis symptoms. Therefore, make sure that your dog maintains a healthy weight. A balanced diet and regular exercise are crucial.

Moderate exercise

While excessive strain can damage joints, moderate exercise is important to strengthen muscles and maintain joint mobility. Walking, swimming and physical therapy are often good options.

Medicines and nutritional supplements

There are a number of medications and supplements that can help relieve the symptoms of osteoarthritis. These include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), painkillers, glucosamine and chondroitin. It is important to always use these products in consultation with your veterinarian.

Adjustments at home

You can also make some adjustments in your home to make life easier for your dog:

  • Non-slip mats: They provide your dog with secure footing and can help prevent slips and injuries.
  • Orthopedic beds: They provide extra comfort and support for painful joints.
  • Ramps: They can make it easier for your dog to get onto the sofa, car, or other elevated surfaces.

Further treatment options for osteoarthritis

In some cases it may make sense to consider further treatment options. These include, among other things, physiotherapeutic measures such as hydrotherapy or special exercises, acupuncture or even surgical interventions such as joint replacement operations.

Final thoughts

The diagnosis of osteoarthritis in dogs can be frightening at first. However, it's important to know that there are many options to relieve symptoms and improve your dog's quality of life. With the right treatment and care, your dog can live a happy and fulfilling life despite osteoarthritis.

Don’t forget that all of the strategies and tips we have presented in this blog post should always be implemented in consultation with your veterinarian. Every dog ​​is unique and it is important to create an individual treatment plan.