Does your dog have arthritis? Just as in human patients, arthritis is common in dogs, especially older pups and larger breeds. While there is no known cure for this condition, early diagnosis and appropriate treatment can keep your dog comfortable and active for as long as possible.
Osteoarthritis in dogs is a progressive inflammation of an affected joint caused by the deterioration of the cartilage. Cartilage normally functions as a cushion, allowing the joint to move freely. In a dog (or human) with arthritis, this cartilage begins to break down because of age, repetitive stress, injury, or disease. Losing this protective cushion leads to inflammation, pain, a reduced range of motion, and–sometimes–the development of bone spurs. Osteoarthritis can develop in any body part, but in dogs, it’s most common in the lower spine and limbs.
How do I know if my dog is suffering from arthritis or joint pain?
If your dog is middle-aged or older, you should monitor them for possible signs of arthritis, such as:
- Stiffness or trouble getting up
- Weight gain
- Reduced interest in playing or running
- Changes in behavior or temperament
- Pain when touched
It can be tricky to identify arthritis in its early stages, as your dog may not display any symptoms until the joint sustains significant damage. To compound the issue, some dogs hide their pain for as long as they can until it becomes severe. If you think that your pet may have arthritis, be sure to take them to see a veterinarian as soon as possible. Your vet can diagnose the problem and recommend a suitable treatment regimen.
Is my dog at risk for developing arthritis?
It’s critical to identify dogs who are at risk of developing arthritis because early intervention makes treatment much more effective. Be sure that your vet is aware of any of the potential risk factors for arthritis in your dog, including:
- Breed. Some breeds are more susceptible to arthritis, such as Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherds, French Bulldogs, Rottweilers, and Bernese Mountain Dogs.
- Being overweight. Carrying extra weight around is hard on your dog’s joints. If your dog is heavier than they should be, talk to your vet about a safe and effective diet to help them achieve a healthier body weight.
- Repetitive, high-impact activity. If your dog engages in regular activities that cause unusual force to the joints, such as jumping or twisting, then they may be at a higher risk of joint instability and damage.
- A history of joint issues. A dog with past joint trauma, surgery, or infection, or other issues such as a tick-borne disease, may be more likely to develop osteoarthritis than other dogs.
What can I give my dog to help manage joint pain?
You may not be able to cure your dog’s arthritis pain, but with proper management, you can greatly improve their quality of life. In severe cases, your vet may recommend surgery, but many dogs get along well with more conservative treatments.
Here are some of the possible treatments that you can try, either alone or in combination with each other:
- Weight management. It’s essential to help a dog with arthritis maintain a healthy weight. Excess weight can put undue stress on tender joints, worsening the pain of arthritis.
- Physical therapy. Ask your vet about a safe exercise program for your dog. Improving muscle mass and range of motion can help protect your dog’s joints and make them more comfortable.
- Medications. Your vet may want to prescribe certain medications to help manage pain, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or corticosteroids to help reduce inflammation.
- Supplements. Green-lipped mussel for dogs is an effective treatment for arthritis. Omega-3s reduce inflammation and joint pain in dogs and humans.
Can a green-lipped mussel oil supplement help?
If you’ve performed any research regarding green-lipped mussel oil and how effective it is against inflammation and conditions caused by inflammation (such as arthritis), then you may already be aware of the benefits of including it as a regular part of your diet and supplement regimen. However, you should also know that it’s just as effective for dogs.
GLX3 is an all-natural and highly potent green-lipped mussel oil supplement that reduces inflammation at the gene level to relieve joint pain and other ailments. This superfood contains all essential omega-3s, including EPA, DHA, and ETA, while regular fish oil contains only EPA and DHA.
If your dog is suffering from arthritis–or you just want to give them the best odds of remaining arthritis-free–then make GLX3 part of their daily routine.