My dear Lilly has been suffering from arthritis since she was only three years old. I first took her to see her Veterinarian thinking she had hurt her shoulder. After an examination and x-rays it was determined that she was in fact suffering from Arthritis in multiple joints. Then I realised that she had been suffering from a number of arthritic symptoms such as reduced activity, stiffness especially when getting up, finding it hard to sit or lie down, increase in weight, limping / lame and irritability.
Arthritis or degenerative joint disease (DJD) doesn’t only affect humans, it is in fact one of the most common ailments suffered by our canine friends. Arthritis is when the cartilage between the bones wears away and becomes rough. Sometimes the cartilage deteriorates so badly that the bones will rub together. The other part of DJD is when the synovial fluid in the joints becomes watery and thin, meaning there is less shock absorption inside the joint. This painful degenerative disease does not discriminate and can affect dogs of any breed or age.
Lilly is now nearly twelve and we are still managing her arthritis. I really notice that during the colder months of the year she seems to be a lot stiffer and it takes her a lot longer to get moving. So to help her cope with the colder months I try and keep her as warm as possible with a polar fleece coat and a blanket at night, plus she is very spoilt and always sleeps inside on a mattress bed.
There are many treatments and medications available for dogs to help them manage the pain involved with arthritis and to help lubricate the joints, some prescribed by your vet and others available without veterinary consultation . Over the years I have tried a few treatments as prescribed by our vet including Cartrophen injections and analgesic anti-inflammatories which have definitely helped to manage Lilly’s pain. I have also used natural non-steroidal powder supplements that you add to their food like Sashas Blend and Pernaease powder, which help maintain normal joint tissue and promote joint mobility. I found that they both helped Lilly a lot with her arthritic symptoms, meaning that she did not have to constantly be on anti-inflammatories. At the moment we are having great success with a new medication called Trocixil. It is a long acting non-steroidal anti-inflammatory tablet that she has monthly. She also has a course of injections called ZYDAX 100 generation 2, once a week for four weeks and a repeat course every six months. All of this along with Pernaease powder daily on her food has made her feel five years younger.
If you think your pet may be suffering with symptoms of arthritis, take them to the vet for a checkup so you know what you are dealing with. Early intervention is always best.
Until next time,