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Treating Arthritis in Dogs - a plan to keep them pain free!

when it comes to successfully treating

arthritis in dogs and cats there's far

more involved than simply giving them

some supplements or chucking them some

painkillers every now and then and it

doesn't have to be complicated or

expensive the fact is that a few simple

changes in your pets lifestyle or how

you're managing them could make all the

difference with them living as happy and

comfortable a life as possible that

actually means that they live longer as

well I'm dr. Alex from our pets health

comm where my aim is to help you and

your dog and cat live as healthy and

happy alive as possible and treating

arthritis successfully in dogs and cats

is just one of my five pet health

essentials that you can find in my free

guide linked on screen now and we can

break the treatment of arthritis down

into seven main areas and the first of

these is simply to keep your pet as

healthy a weight as possible being

overweight and obesity is a huge problem

it affects about 60% of our pet dogs and

cats and it has a massive impact on

comfort in arthritic pets in fact the

impact is so great that we know as

little as a 6% weight loss can

dramatically improve your pets company

so that if they are carrying a little

bit too much weight focusing on shifting

a few pounds can make all the difference

now tied into this at number two is

nutrition now feeding your pet a good

quality age-appropriate diet is really

important but actually one of the best

things that we can do when it comes to

supplementation and I'll discuss other

supplements later is to actually feed a

joint specific diet so they contain a

number of different things that help

reduce weight gain and actually optimize

for weight loss they help to maintain

muscle mass and shift fat they also

contain a mix of essential fatty acids

that's our omega-3 fatty acids that have

an anti-inflammatory effect and can

improve the comfort of your pet the next

step in successfully treating arthritis

is environmental modification and it's

not as complicated as it sounds it

simply means if you've got slippy floors

in your house put down a few non-slip

rugs or runners so that your pet isn't

slipping and sliding everywhere

make sure your cat can easily get to

their food and then

litter tray make sure that they're not

having to navigate lots of steps help

your dog into the car

don't let them jump out of the car make

sure they've got comfortable bedding in

a warm draft-free area thinking hard

about how the environment can impact

your pet and taking a few simple cheap

steps can make a huge difference every

little step really does add up a lot of

owners start giving supplements quite

early in the disease especially when

they're first noticing the signs of

arthritis in their dog or cat

unfortunately though we often rely far

too much on different supplements and

there are some good ones that do have

some evidence behind them but there's a

lot of rubbish out there that really has

no proven benefits in the treatment of

arthritis in dogs and cats now the best

ones as I've already touched on are our

omega-3 fatty acids that's our fish oils

now you might see that as cod liver oil

krill oil green lipped mussel they all

contain a rich source of omega-3 fatty

acids that's proven to reduce the

inflammation and improve comfort in

arthritic pets if you're thinking about

something like flaxseed oil

unfortunately while that is rich in

omega-3 fatty acids they're a type that

can't get broken down by our pets into a

usable form so really they're not as

beneficial as we would like if we think

of things like Elkhorn shark cartilage

all kinds of other different supplements

out there again these are completely

unproven and are likely doing nothing

for your pet but even the best

supplement in the world isn't going to

be enough to keep your dog or your cat

comfortable as their arthritis

progresses so you shouldn't think that

because you're giving supplements you're

doing all you can

up next is exercise management now

clearly exercise is still very important

you want to make sure that your pet

stays mobile their joints don't seize up

and that their muscle mass is maintained

and doesn't just waste away to nothing

but like I mentioned when it came to

environmental modification we want to

avoid really high impact activities so

make sure that you're not overdoing it

your pet isn't having to do too much

they're not chasing after a ball which

puts them through all kinds of stress

and strains when they're rapidly

accelerating stopping turning try and

make sure that they're not jumping when

you're taking them out for a walk short

and regular is much better than long an

occasional up next is complimentary

therapies and that ties in to exercise

management because the most common ones

here are physiotherapy or hydrotherapy

so they're designed to help maintain

muscle mass which helps stabilize joints

help keep your pet mobile and supple and

reduces inflammation there are lots of

other alternative therapies that are

again unproven unfortunately there's a

lot of things out there that will claim

huge benefits but they'll rely on

unreliable testimonials and there's

actually no hard data to show there's a

benefit to them in the treatment of

arthritis and then we've got pain

killing medication now make no mistake

giving your pet an anti-inflammatory

painkiller gives them the best chance of

living a pain-free happy life now there

are a few important steps that we need

to take when we're giving pain killers

we need to make sure that they are

generally in good health that their

kidneys are not struggling that their

liver is working well we need to monitor

them closely for side-effects and we

need to make sure that we're giving the

right dose at the right interval but for

the vast majority of cases there's going

to be no problem and your pet is

probably not going to be any different

now if a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory

isn't appropriate and there are cases

where that is the case then there are

other pain killers that we can give

things like gabapentin amantadine

paracetamol in dogs but definitely not

cats and don't be afraid of giving

several drugs if that's what's needed to

keep your pet as happy and comfortable

as possible especially if you're taking

all of these other steps to do exactly

that

and then once you've got your treatment

plan in place you need to monitor modify

maintain so you need to monitor for the

effect that it's having you need to

modify it if it's not having the effect

that you want it to and then maintain

the treatment that you're giving don't

think because everything's working you

can slacken off arthritis is a

progressive disease and unfortunately

it's going to get worse with time rather

than better so the chances are you're

going to need to ramp up your treatment

at some point in the future now if you

want to dive into each of these topics

in more detail I've got a free arthritis

course and I'll leave the link on

now so definitely check that out I've

got an another arthritis video on screen

as well you can click on to watch but

until next time I'm dr. Alex this is our

pets health because they're family