Arthritis or Degenerative Joint Disease is a major contributor to musculoskeletal degeneration in dogs and other pets. Osteoarthritis, or Degenerative Joint Disease contributes to the degeneration of your dog's frame, a sight that is heart breaking for any dog owner. Let's not even mention the severe discomfort a dog is in when dealing with this disease and how quickly the disease escalates. Medication will only work for a short time. Many dog owners are faced with the dilemma of putting their dog to sleep when the disease becomes unbearable for their dog to handle.
The Main Causes of Arthritis
- Cartilage degenerative : A genetic predisposition to malformation of the joints, such as hip dysplasia in dogs that can cause early joint degeneration.
- Poor nutrition: High calorie carbohydrate-based diets can cause the body to grow faster than the cartilage does, inducing cartilage deficits.
- Autoimmune diseases in which your pet’s body attacks its own joints.
- Infectious diseases: Bacterial infections in the joints can trigger degeneration, as well as tick borne infections that spread to the joints.
- Trauma (known or unknown).
Early Trauma or Injury Can Lead to Joint Disease Later
Trauma at an early age is an overlooked source of joint disease in dogs and cats. A sudden movement that causes the head to jerk backward can cause cervical injury often gone unnoticed. Pet trainers often recommend the owner jerk the dogs leash to get him to stop pulling. Dr. Karen Becker, wellness veterinarian does not agree with this method because it can cause cervical trauma which later causes an early onset of joint disease and degenerative . These early traumas go often go unnoticed and add up over a period of time.
Arthritis Preventative Measures
- If your pet sustains an injury of any type, consider chiropractic care to help realign the spine and Central Nervous System. This will help prevent any future problems arising from your dog or cat's body shifting into an unhealthy position to compensate for his injury.
- A pet massage can treat tissue inflammation and prevent secondary composition in an animals body. You can learn how to do pet massage yourself through books and videos. By doing a pet massage yourself you are able to become familiar with where the soreness and tightness is on your pets body and is also a nice way to spend time with your pet.
DIY Dog Massage Dog Massage Secrets
Communicate with Your Cat Through Massage
- Stretching is another beneficial practice for reducing degenerative and preventing soft tissue injury. It’s particularly helpful with older pets and competition/working dogs. Yes, you can stretch your dog!
The Healthy Ways to Stretch Your Dog
Stretching Your Pet Video -The Doctors Channel
- Adding certain supplements to your pet’s diet can provide the raw materials for cartilage repair or maintenance. Visit a Holistic Vet to determine a custom-made protocol for your pet’s specific musculoskeletal needs.
Holistic Veterinary Medicine
- Another important factor is preventing dog arthritis and joint degenerative is regular exercise. It is imperative that your dog has plenty of exercise on a daily basis.
You can kill two birds with one stone and socialize your dog and get him some exercise at the same time by providing him a play time with other dogs, either at the park or in a private setting. You yourself should walk your dog daily and ensure he knows how to walk properly on a leash. A great exercise for dog and owner alike is to ride a bicycle with your dog on a leash. It takes a little practice so start off slow but once you and you dog master it it is an extremely enjoyable experience and a heck of a lot more enjoyable than running the treadmill at the gym.
Utilize the yard space that you have and teach your dog the come command and play the "Come Game." You need two people for this game, stand far apart, and call your dog to come (follow the instructions for teaching the command). Your dog will get exercise running back and forth between you and the other person, while at the same time getting praise each time he follows your command to come. Once again you are also killing two birds with one stone - exercise and obedience.