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Arthritis in dogs – diagnosis, treatment & behavior tips

The last blog post was already about arthritis in dogs. You have learned all about the clinical picture and the different forms of arthritis, the symptoms and what drastic consequences it can have.

But what can be done if a dog suffers from arthritis and how is it diagnosed in the first place? In this article, you’ll learn all about the diagnosis and treatment options and what you can do as a dog owner to help your dog.

Arthritis in dogs – the diagnosis

  • In most cases, the symptoms already give clear indications of arthritis. Depending on the expression, various further examinations may make sense. Often, the clinical picture already gives clear indications of joint inflammation. Depending on the severity and clarity of the findings, the following further examination methods may be used:
  • X-rays can be used to rule out other conditions, such as a bone fracture. At the same time, bony growths and damage to the cartilage are made visible.
  • By puncturing the joint under general anesthesia, synovial fluid is taken, which can be examined. For example, bacteria and inflammatory cells can be detected.
  • Changes in composition can be detected when blood and urine are examined.
  • If immune-related arthritis is suspected, an examination of the internal organs is also recommended.

Treatment options

The choice of therapy depends on the form of arthritis.

In infectious arthritis, the joint is punctured and irrigated. This thoroughly removes bacteria and pieces of cartilage. The wound is dressed, closely monitored. Frequent dressing changes and hygienic conditions are essential. It is essential to avoid that the quadruped licks the wound to avoid a new infection. In parallel, the dog is given an antibiotic. The administration of a painkiller and anti-inflammatory drugs is also important.

In the case of arthritis caused by trauma, the quadruped is provided with anti-inflammatory medication and appropriate pain therapy. Opening of the joint is not necessary. It is important to keep the quadruped as still as possible and to spare the joint.

Immunosuppressive medications are used for immune-related arthritis. They usually have to be given over a long period of several months.

For rheumatoid arthritis, I definitely recommend gold acupuncture….

Following any form of arthritis, dogs are helped by physical therapy to promote joint mobility, build muscle, relieve tension and train a normal range of motion.

Behavior tips for dog owners

  • Keeping the affected joint immobilized, sparing it
  • Leash requirement
  • Increase exercise very slowly after inflammation subsides to avoid flare-ups

How you can support your four-legged friend

You yourself can also support your four-legged friend with arthritis after consultation with your veterinarian. If there is no open wound, for example, cooling compresses or cool packs will help your dog a lot. They relieve pain and inhibit inflammation. I can especially recommend quark compresses to you.

Additionally, anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving supplements can provide good relief for your four-legged friend.

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