Dogs don’t always show pain. Something obvious like a broken leg or a bad sprain will show, but the dull ache of osteoarthritis may not be noticed, especially during the initial stages.
This, of course, makes your job of detection a little more challenging. Instead of looking for yelping or crying, detection of pain involves studying changes in your dog’s behaviour. Is he avoiding activities that he used to do easily in the past — jumping down from the couch, climbing down stairs? Or does he lag during the last part of his walk?
Pain doesn’t do your dog any good at all. It makes his favourite activities such as a walk or a game of ball less enjoyable for him. If he has been diagnosed with osteoarthritis, good pain control will make a big difference to his quality of life.
If you think your dog may be suffering from arthritis, talk to your vet. A vet is the only person who can diagnose arthritis, and prescribe medication to manage the condition. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are usually the first choice of pain medications for osteoarthritis.
You should never give human drugs to your dog, and in fact don’t give him any medication except under medical supervision. There could be serious side effects, including death, if the wrong medication or an incorrect dose is used.
Although it’s better to act before arthritis becomes a problem, canine arthritis treatment is still a great option for dogs that already have it. Arthritis isn’t curable but can be managed effectively using treatments that focus on reducing pain and inflammation, slowing the progression of the disease, facilitating the repair of damaged tissues and maintaining or improving joint function.
If your vet prescribes an NSAID for your dog, you may want to ask your vet about using a nutritional joint supplement, such as Supleneo Flex in addition to using the prescribed NSAID.
Supleneo flex is a daily supplement, which is suitable for all breeds, sizes and ages of dog and contains the key ingredients that can improve joint health, such as glucosamine. In addition, Supleneo flex’s natural liver flavour means dogs love the taste, making it’s easy and fun to give them their supplement every day. It is low calorie, so you can give it to your dog, instead of a treat.
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Things To Note With Pain Management
While pain relief has been shown that in some instances it can help recovery, if your dog over-extends himself the opposite can be true. Regular controlled exercise is the best option for optimum long-term recovery and management.
Another thing to watch for is side effects. All drugs have them, but if you give your dog his medication according to your vet’s directions, the risks are very small. If he is taking long-term medication, you can expect your vet to recommend regular blood tests just to make sure everything is okay on the inside.