When a dog becomes old, mobility often becomes a problem. Eventually, the days of youthful running and jumping around will come to an end. Thanks to modern veterinary medicine, dogs can now live longer lives. However, as dogs get older, they are likely to suffer from canine arthritis.
Arthritis is one of the most common conditions among middle-aged to older dogs. Younger dogs also suffer from it in some cases. Arthritis causes many changes in the affected joints that can be very painful. The good news is that there are many ways to treat this ailment, and CBD oil for dogs with arthritis is probably one of the best.
What Is Arthritis?
In simple terms, arthritis describes abnormal changes in the joints. What defines abnormal? First, let’s take a look at what normal means.
Normally, the bone surfaces inside your dog’s joints have a layer of smooth cartilage. A small amount of joint fluid lubricates the cartilages that allow two surfaces to touch each other with minimal friction.
When your dog suffers from arthritis, the cartilage undergoes a change or damage. As a result, the surfaces become rougher than usual. When the surfaces rub against each other, your dog will feel some discomfort. This abrasive rubbing leads to more damage to the cartilage. Due to the increased friction, some new bone starts to form around the joint which will make it stiffer, limiting the movements of your dog.
Arthritis is a permanent disease that affects most domestic dogs. The condition is progressive and painful. The stiffness, lameness, pain, and soreness differ from one dog to another. As arthritis increases it makes it harder for a dog to jump, play or get up after laying or sitting down.
The pain intensifies when the weather is damp and cold. The condition is irreversible, and most arthritic dog dogs feel more pain as time passes. There are cases in which the condition becomes debilitating.
How Does Arthritis Occur in Pets?
Arthritis can affect dogs of all types and sizes. Most commonly, it affects the dog’s shoulders, hips, or paws.
Keep in mind that there is no gender or general breed predisposition for arthritis in dogs. However, breeds that are predisposed to dysplasia, elbow osteochondrosis, patellar luxation, and cranial cruciate ligament rupture have a higher risk of developing arthritis.
Dogs that are free roaming have a higher risk of traumatic injuries, which in turn increases the probability that they develop arthritis at the site of their injury. Dogs that are overweight, highly athletic and those used for work have similar risks of developing the condition.
Cartilage surfaces located in a dog’s joints start to become thinner as it ages. This leads to the death of the cartilage cells. When the cells die, they emit enzymes that cause inflammation in the joint area. This will also cause the joint to release more fluid.
When the cartilage becomes thinner, extra bony growths occur. Through time, the cartilage becomes too thin, and the space between joints becomes narrower. As a result, the bone underneath the cartilage is damaged.
The arthritic dog will experience a deterioration in the function of the joint. The condition brings in pain, inactivity, muscle atrophy, and lameness. A veterinarian can detect these changes through an X-ray.
What Are the Symptoms of Arthritis?
Arthritis has very clear symptoms. You can immediately notice the symptoms as your dog gets older. The dog will be less active or have difficulty doing things they like. One of the clearest cut signs of arthritis is a dog’s inability to stand up. Most owners will notice their arthritic dog struggling to get on its feet, which can be heartbreaking. Below are some of the most common symptoms of arthritis in dogs.
If you notice your dog limping, that can be a sign that it is suffering from arthritis. You may notice that your dog’s mobility becomes less and less refined. There are cases in which the limp appears worse when your dog is getting up, and then it becomes less noticeable as it starts moving around. But just because it’s less noticeable doesn’t mean your dog isn’t suffering any pain. When your dog starts showing these signs, it may be time to seek treatment.
Older dogs generally tend to become inactive. You might notice your dog show frequent signs of tiredness or sleepiness. Your dog might find it hard to get on top of its favorite chair or go up the stairs. Running can also be something your dog will not want to do because of the pain. There’s a good chance that it’s not because they are lazy, but because they are suffering from arthritis.
Some arthritic dogs become irritable. The pain from arthritis may cause them to act differently as they try to cope with the ailment. This means they might bite or snap when handled or approached. You should handle or pet your dog with care if you don’t want to aggravate the pain it is feeling.
Arthritic dogs develop muscle atrophy due to inactivity. This means when they become inactive, the use of their muscles also decreases. When the dog decreases the use of some of the muscles, muscle tissues die. Atrophied muscles in the leg will make it look thinner than the other legs. As a result, the dog will not have full mobility. Now that know what symptoms to look for you may wonder what treatment options available?
Treatment Options for Arthritis in Dogs
When your dog is diagnosed with arthritis, there are several available options to treat the ailment. There is a high chance your vet may recommend medications such as NSAIDs or steroids. There are also certain natural supplements available to help manage the symptoms. Below are some of the most popular methods of treatment for dogs with arthritis.
Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) are one of the most common types of medications for inflammation and pain relief.
You may recognize NSAIDs such as aspirin or ibuprofen, as they are popular over the counter options for humans. It is very important, however, that you never give your dog any medications that are not specifically for dogs. This is because they are intended for humans, and can potentially be fatal to your dog.
Instead, your vet may prescribe a dog-friendly NSAID such as Dermaxx, Etogesic, Galliprant, Metacam, or Rimadyl. Although they are formulated for dogs, however, these drugs may cause your pet to experience gastrointestinal discomfort, and, in some cases, kidney or liver failure.
Steroids are some of the most powerful drugs for treating inflammation-related ailments. Although there are many types of steroidal drugs, there’s a good chance it may be a corticosteroid for dogs. This class of steroids includes drugs such as dexamethasone and prednisone, to name a few.
While steroids are the strongest form of treatment available for inflammation, they can also be the most detrimental to your dog’s condition. This is because steroids, in the long term, can potentially cause further damage to the joints, along with other side effects. As such, they are not as commonly prescribed for dogs as other safer drugs.
In some cases, medications such as the ones mentioned above may not be sufficient in treating the symptoms of arthritis. The pain could be more intense in severe cases. As such, your vet may prescribe another, stronger, pain reliever for your dog.
These could include drugs such as gabapentin or tramadol, the latter being an opiate. Opiates have a well-known history of side effects and are also psychoactive. Using opiates can and will make your dog “high” or disoriented. While you should always consult with your vet regarding medications, it is also helpful to know about some of the more natural treatment options for dogs with arthritis.
Lifestyle Improvements For Dogs With Arthritis
Fixing your dog’s poor diet is a good idea to help to treat your dog’s arthritis naturally and effectively. Your dog is much like you when it comes to nutrition. Get rid of the food additives and preservatives. Rid the refined sugar, pasteurized dairy, genetically modified foods (GMO’s), and stressed factory farmed meats.
Furthermore, ridding the body of drugs is another step in reducing the inflammation naturally. No more steroids or non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), flea and tick treatments that contain pesticides, and antibiotics.
Keeping your dog active is a good way to lessen arthritic symptoms. Daily moderate activity helps to keep your dog’s joints active. This activity can help decrease stiffness and pain from setting in so quickly. Be careful not to overexert your dog as too much activity can worsen symptoms of arthritis.
Moderate exercise also helps to keep excess weight off your dog. If your dog is overweight the extra pounds can put additional strain on the suffering joints resulting in more pain and damage overall.
Walking, swimming or hiking are just some of the moderate activities you can enjoy with your dog to ease arthritis symptoms. Just remember to avoid extreme activities that may involve intense running or movement.
Natural Supplements For Dogs With Arthritis
This is a naturally occurring substance in the connective tissues of humans and animals. More specifically, it is a component of cartilage that is found in the body.
Chondroitin has been found to stop the production of destructive enzymes in joint fluid. It may also help the body repair damaged cartilage, as well as restore joint integrity. Chondroitin is available in capsule form, or as a treat.
This is an effective natural anti-inflammatory supplement extracted from the Boswellia serrata tree. According to the National Center for Biotechnological Information, “Gum-resin extracts of Boswellia serrata have been traditionally used in folk medicine for centuries to treat various chronic inflammatory diseases. The resinous part of Boswellia serrata possesses monoterpenes, diterpenes, triterpenes, tetracyclic triterpenic acids, and four major pentacyclic triterpenic acids”… which are all “responsible for inhibition of pro-inflammatory enzymes”.
Glucosamine is another powerful supplement used for joint support. It is a naturally occurring substance produced by your dog’s body to help build cartilage in the joints. As your dog gets older, its body produces lower amounts of glucosamine. This results in weaker joints and problems related to damaged cartilage and joints.
Taking glucosamine may improve the lubrication of your dog’s joints well. It may also make the cartilage more shock absorbent, resulting in increased mobility. As a supplement, it is produced by extracting the glucosamine molecules from shrimp, crab, and lobster shells. Be on the lookout for naturally sourced glucosamine, as it may be better absorbed by your dog’s body.
Turmeric is one of the most widely researched and highly effective anti-inflammatory supplements on the market. Several studies have confirmed the effectiveness of turmeric as an anti-inflammatory.
Tumeric even outperforms some of the drugs and medications mentioned earlier. You can add turmeric to your dog’s food, at a serving of about 1/4 teaspoon per 10 pounds of body weight. It can also be found in capsules or as supplementary treats for your dog.
CBD is a naturally occurring substance produced by the hemp plant. It is gaining massive popularity due to its many potential health benefits for pets and humans.
More specifically, it has been found to be highly effective in assisting with treating ailments such as anxiety, inflammation, and seizures. This is because of its interaction with the recently discovered endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the body.
Research shows that the ECS is responsible for maintaining homeostasis, or natural balance, within the body. This system also regulates the body’s inflammatory response. Since arthritis involves inflammation within the joints, maintaining a healthy endocannabinoid system can be beneficial in treating this ailment. How does this apply to dogs? Well, it turns out that dogs, cats, and other animals have an endocannabinoid system as well!
Omega 3’s & Omega 6’s Fatty Acids
Fats are very important for your dog’s diet and Holistapet products are loaded with them. I’m saying that if your dog doesn’t eat the right balance of fatty omega-3’s or omega-6’s then things can really go wrong. It is these fats that help control your dog’s immune system and hormones.
Fatty omega-6’s trigger inflammation and the omega-3’s reduce it so it is important to have the right balance of these essential fats in your dog’s diet. Holistapet CBD dog treats have added Omega-3’s and Omega-6’s which help to keep your dog’s immune system in balance in order to fight off inflammation as effectively as possible.
Antioxidants can prevent cell damage that free radicals can cause. These antioxidants have many different health benefits such as anti-aging effects, helps to prevent cancer, helps to prevent heart disease, boosts the immune system and helps to prevent eye problems.
We add natural antioxidant ingredients to our CBD treats for dogs to assure customers that their dog is getting a good daily amount of antioxidants. Incorporating antioxidants into your dog’s diet while it’s young could possibly preventative the onset of arthritis later in its life.
CBD Treats For Dogs With Arthritis
Consider natural CBD products like Holistapet’s Dog Treats for Joint & Mobility Care that help reduce pain while also targeting inflammation. Dog’s love our treats! They are made from organic ingredients, contain essential nutrients like Boswellia, turmeric, omega 3s, and potent antioxidants to help counteract the dog’s arthritis. CBD oil is also a great way to administer concentrated doses of CBD to pets easily and safely.
I have a Jack Russel Terrier for example. He would wake up very stiff every morning, when you touch or hold him he would seem to be in pain. He became less active and less likely to jump on me when I came home. It was quite apparent that he had developed arthritis in his shoulders and back. I took him to the vet and they examined his x rays, diagnosing it as arthritis. His back was “crooked”. His spine and neck would bend out of alignment, making it difficult for him to move.
That’s when I decided to give my dog CBD! I could see improvements in just 1-2 weeks of giving him a daily dose of CBD. He would not wake up in pain and his body was loosened up. The stiffness went away completely after about a month of treatment. CBD really helped him and it can help your dog as well!
CBD and Its Anti-Inflammatory Effects
The anti-inflammatory properties of CBD play an important part in treating arthritis. CBD is non-psychoactive, which means it doesn’t produce the high associated with marijuana use. Many veterinarians and pet owners are already using CBD oil for dogs with arthritis. It shows potent anti-arthritic therapeutic properties that assist in improving the condition of the dog and protect the joint.
CBD is a natural pain reliever. Cannabinoids help in controlling pain by inhibiting the transmission of pain signals to the brain. Using CBD oil also helps in suppressing chronic inflammation without inducing analgesic tolerance. CBD can help improve the quality of life of your arthritic dog.
Unlike prescription drugs, CBD oil doesn’t have any dangerous side effects. It doesn’t damage the liver, kidney, or the gastrointestinal tract. Your dog is not high or sedated as well. Using CBD oil for dogs’ arthritis is holistic approaches that will help your dog cope with the degenerative disease.
How To Use CBD Oil To Treat Dogs With Arthritis
While CBD oil can come in topical format, when using CBD oil for dog arthritis owners usually apply it orally. The best thing about CBD is that you can use it with traditional treatments and medications.
Some studies show there may be synergistic benefits between traditional medications and CBD. That’s why it is relatively safe to use CBD oil while giving your dog traditional treatment for arthritis.
Standard CBD Dosing Recommendations for Dogs with Arthritis
When using any CBD product for dogs’ arthritis, start with a small dosage first. Increase the dosage gradually until you notice a significant improvement in your pet’s condition. Most dog owners report that their arthritic dog starts to become more active again after several days of using CBD oil for dogs’ arthritis.
You can put a few drops of CBD oil into your dog’s mouth directly. However, there are times when this can be hard to do. If that is the case, drop the oil into your dog’s food. Dry food works best with absorbing the oil. However, you may find CBD capsules work best with wet food because you can open a capsule and sprinkle the powder more evenly than a tincture. Mixing it together will also help to spread the CBD more evenly throughout the meal.
Keep in mind that CBD oil doesn’t work instantly. It will take a couple of hours before you notice any effects on your dog. If you are sure that the dog is not getting the benefits of CBD oil, increase the dosage the next day. Check out this convenient CBD dosing chart along with more in-depth information regarding dosing guidelines.
Using CBD oil for dogs arthritis will make your pet’s life more comfortable even when it is suffering from the degenerative disease. It can help ease away the pain and treat the inflammation of the joints. You’ll see your dog walking, if not running again in no time.
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