Living with Arthritis

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Living with Arthritis

Postby shyvet » Sat Aug 12, 2006 4:14 pm

As our pets age, they often appear to be functioning on worn-out batteries. Older pets may become less active, limp and just not seem themselves.
Owners may think this is irreversible, when in fact it's arthritis. Luckily, veterinarians can treat arthritis effectively, typically returning pets to a happy, vibrant life.

The most common signs of canine arthritis are limping or lameness; lagging behind on walks; reluctance to stand, climb stairs, jump or run; and stiffness or difficulty rising.

Newer and potent anti-inflammatory medicines (Deramaxx, Previcox, Rimadyl, Zubrin) help return pets to normal activity by reducing pain and inflammation.

Special joint diets (Hill's Prescription Diet j/d and Purina Veterinary Diets JM Joint Mobility Formula) are proven to stop joint degradation (drugs don't do that), delay the onset of arthritis and correlated need for anti-inflammatory drugs. The foods also provide building blocks for healthy joints, and with obesity being a major factor in arthritis, they help pets lose weight. With these special foods, when pets do start on drugs, they can often get by on a lower dose.

Ask your veterinarian which specific foods and drugs are best for your pet.
Here are some other tips:

1. Give traction. Hardwood and tile floors are slippery and can make a dog with arthritis feel like he's a rookie ice skater. Put down area rugs or runners.

2. Ramp up. Furniture, beds, stairs and vehicles can become insurmountable barriers. Ramps or specially designed stairs can make getting up, on or into things practical and safe.

3. Hard day's night. Soft bedding (foam beds, waterbeds, hammocks) helps support the bones and joints.

4. Magic fingers. Massage can increase flexibility, circulation and relaxation. Pets with positive experiences with gentle hands are easy to massage at home. A professional animal massage therapist or acupuncturist can provide more thorough treatment.

5. Rub-a-dub scrub. Arthritic dogs struggle with what was once routine hygiene. You may need to assist in this cleaning by doing a potty-path trim (trim around the rear end), regular brushing to remove mats and tangles and trimming nails that are no longer getting worn down by exercise.

6. Take a hike. Moderate daily exercise helps a pet keep an ideal weight and strengthens the muscles and ligaments thus improving joint function.

7. TLC. As pets age and hurt, they may lose patience and be less tolerant. And while their brains may say "go" when the kids want to toss a tennis ball, their bodies may be saying "slow" or even "no!" Limit strenuous activity and keep them away from stressful events. (fireworks, Halloween visitors, noisy parties, etc.).

8. Give seniors a hand. Be patient when your pet acts more tortoise than hare. Go slow and allow him extra time to get up, climb stairs or get into the car. Your older pet may need a ramp, special steps or a lifting harness.
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Re: Living with Arthritis

Postby phyllisa » Wed Oct 07, 2009 3:26 pm

my mom is in her late 40's and has had arthritis for like ever in her hands, back, and neck and i want to help her. she has tried Advil, Tylenol and other pain relief stuff and now i need some remedies i know that it can't be taken away but it can't helped and that's all i want. Thanks. (and it can't be expensive.)
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