Arthritis is a painful condition common in both dogs and their owners. It is easy to see this ailment as just another sign of growing old, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do something about it. Arthritis in dachshunds can be distressing when it leads to pain and a loss of quality of life. However, there are steps that we can take to improve the condition and help them live out their senior years with more comfort and joy.
In this guide to dachshund arthritis, you will learn a little more about the causes and symptoms of this condition. This should help you identify problems early on so you can go to a vet for an examination. Then, we will look at some of the different dachshund arthritis treatment options. There is an emphasis here on natural solutions and tips on making life a little more comfortable. By the end, you should have a better idea of how to help dachshunds with arthritis.
How do dogs get arthritis?
There are two common issues here. First, there is arthritis where there is inflammation in the joints leading to pain and mobility issues. Then there is osteoarthritis where the condition progresses into a degenerative disease and the joints are at risk of deterioration.
In many dogs, the causes of arthritis are related to the amount of wear and development of the joints. Some dogs may have damage around the joints from overactivity, breaks, or ligament issues. Others may have underdeveloped joints due to poor development as a puppy.
Is arthritis common in Dachshunds?
With dachshunds, there is a greater risk because of their shape and likelihood of developing knee and hip problems. Dachshunds carry a lot of weight on very small legs, putting extra strain on the joints. This overbreeding means that they shouldn’t jump up to much either for fear of joint damage. As they get older, dachshund arthritis becomes a real danger.
Signs of arthritis in dachshunds.
Symptoms of dachshund arthritis include the following. They may have difficulty moving, such as stiffness in the way they walk or a noticeable limp in one of their limbs. They may also show signs of pain in these joints through vocalization as they get up, general irritability while walking, or discomfort if you touch the joints. You could also find that your dog becomes leaner and more tired.
How is dog arthritis diagnosed?
If you suspect that your dog has arthritis, you need to go to the vet for a full examination. This may involve x-ray and scans to look for clearer signs of damage to the joints. It won’t be pleasant for the dog, especially if they are in clear pain. But, a thorough clinical examination can determine the root of the problem.
This is important to be sure that you follow the right treatment plan. You don’t want to assume that it is arthritis and miss a completely different issue, especially if the pain and swelling in mostly in one leg. At the same time, you don’t want to assume that your dog has just strained a joint and delay your dachshund arthritis treatment plan.
What to do if your dachshund has been diagnosed with arthritis?
If your dog has been diagnosed with arthritis then it is time to take proactive steps to improve the condition and make their life much easier. You can do this by:
- Adapting their diet and exercise plan
- Treating the pain and joint issues with either natural or pharmaceutical solutions
- Providing lots of comfortable places for them to rest at home
- Generally trying your best to be gentle and considerate around them.
Natural Ways To Relieve Your Dachshund’s Joint Pain.
There are two approaches here. You could go down the pharmaceutical route with Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) from your vet. Or, you could try a more natural approach if you are worried about giving these drugs to your pet for the rest of their life. NSAIDs can have side effects and there is the risk of liver damage long term. A varied and safe natural plan is more appealing for dog owners and you can adapt your approach to suit your pet.
1) Adapt their diet and exercise plan.
Adapt their exercise plan so that they get more frequent shorter walks. This way they can still get all of the exercises that they need to stay fit and healthy without overworking their legs. There may be a case of trial and error here while you figure out the best schedule. Remember that if they start to limp on the way home, you have walked too far. Let them rest when they need to. But, you could run the risk of joints seizing up too much if they don’t get enough exercise. Find the perfect balance.
2) Try some physical therapy to get those joints working in a safe way.
You may also want to consider physio and other physical therapy options via clinics. Hydrotherapy is a great way for dogs to get active and work their legs while minimizing the impact on joints. If they aren’t too keen on being in the water, you could get a little treadmill and do some exercises on that.
3) Try some different dog food products.
If your dog ends up walking a little less to compensate for this condition, you may also want to rethink their diet a little bit. They might need smaller portions if they are less likely to burn off calories. A new diet is also important if the strain of their joints came from obesity. Now is the time to put them on a better meal plan, help them shed some pounds, and relieve some of the pressure on the joints.
4) Add some helpful supplements to their diet.
These substances are also available as supplementation to add to meals and water bowls. Look for supplements with omega oils, and glucosamine, and chondroitin sulfate. These provide natural lubrication for light relief and don’t carry as many risks as pharmaceutical products. Natural products like turmeric are generally safe for dogs and have similar properties to the supplements we take ourselves.
5) CBD oil for pain relief.
CBD oil for dachshunds has great potential in relieving inflammation and helping dogs get a little calmer. You can get little drops that you add to food, water, or treats for a quick and easy way to soothe their pain. There are also CBD sprays that could help dogs that are agitated due to pain and discomfort.
6) Try some canine acupuncture or massage.
If you want to go a little further into alternative treatments, you could try canine acupuncture. This might sound a little bit out there as a treatment option. But, there are pets that respond well to this. The little needles aren’t painful and can illicit the same pain relief and relaxation that you see with humans. But, there is no guarantee. Give it a try, see what your dog makes of it, and go from there.
The same is true for canine massage. Some pets will benefit from the relief in the muscles around their joints and relax a little. Others may not like strangers putting their hands near their sore joints. Don’t push them to go through anything they aren’t comfortable with.
7) Provide an orthopedic dog bed.
When it comes to taking care of them at home, you might want to reconsider where they sleep. Orthopedic dog beds can provide more cushioning and support for dachshunds with arthritis, making it easier for them to get to sleep.
8) Look into other alterations around the house.
Also, look at your dog's experience of the home through their eyes. Are they having any trouble walking on hardwood or tile floors? Could you provide some mats or rugs to make things easier for them? Are they still trying to climb up onto sofas and chairs and putting a strain on their legs? Could you give them some steps or a little stool to help?
Talk to your vet about any concerns regarding dog arthritis treatment and support.
There is a lot to consider here and you might not find the best solution overnight. However, you can be sure that your vet will point you in the right direction. They can help with recommendations for dog food and supplements for a better diet. They should also be able to refer your pet to specialists in physical therapy and alternative treatments. Most importantly, they can offer advice about dosages and monitor the health of your dachshund over the years.
Arthritis in dachshunds isn’t a death sentence or a reason to stop having fun. It is just a sign to go a little easier and provide the comfort and support they need in their later years. You can create the ideal dachshund arthritis treatment plan.
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