Osteoarthritis is a chronic condition that can affect dogs of any age. However, those with previous injuries or congenital conditions such as hip dysplasia are more prone. Whilst it may feel like a life changing diagnosis for your dog, there are many ways of managing it that can be effective and ensure a great quality of life for your dog. Here are a few ways you can help.
Make sure you are up to date on the current research and evidence for the treatment and management of OA. Take a look at Canine Arthritis management www.caninearthritis.co.uk for lots of help and support
2. Ensure your dog is a good weight.
Increased weight can lead to an increase load on your dogs joints, making it harder for the to exercise. Check out this body condition score to see if your dog is an ideal weight. https://www.pdsa.org.uk/get-involved/our-campaigns/weigh-up/your-dog/your-dogs-body-shape/your-dogs-body-condition-score
3. Check your floors.
Slippery floors can be really challenging for dogs with arthritis. Make it easier for them by laying down rugs/runner or mats to make moving around
easier for them. Consider using steps or a ramp for access to the car or sofa
4. Activity modification;
You may find that your dog has slowed down a little, or becomes more sore after exercise. Try to accommodate this by going for shorter but more frequent walks. Little and often can be so much easier for them
5. Consider a supplement
Supplements such as Yumove can be a big help to ease stiff joints. Be warned though, some may benefit more than others and really only you can know if it is helping your dog. I would usually recommend trialling a supplement for up to 3 months before deciding if it is helping or not If it is, then great, keep going!
6. Consider Physiotherapy.
Your physiotherapist an help with support and advise on the management of your dog, plus various treatment techniques and specific exercise to help loosen and strengthen joints and muscles.