Over the next 7 weeks I will be discussing how to successfully manage arthritis in your dog. These are the 7 steps (each week I will detail 1 of them)
- Keep them thin
- Keep them warm
- Soft comfortable bedding
- Regular gentle exercise
- Pain relief
- Disease modifying osteoarthritic drugs
- Dietary supplementation
Keep them thin like a greyhound
Joints are load bearing structures that bend and deform when forces are applied to them. An arthritic joint becomes less able to deform and absorb the impact of weight bearing forces. This load bearing is transferred to the bony structures resulting in bone remodelling and pain.
The fatter the dog, the higher the forces applied to the joints through weight bearing. Less fat means less forces applied to the joints, less deformation of damaged cartilage, less load bearing by bones and less remodelling and pain.
In many cases once a dog loses weight, they no longer need any other management for their arthritis. I can't emphasise how important this is:
Keep your arthritic dog really skinny!