Arthritis Medicine for Dogs

Arthritis Medicine for Dogs

When it comes to arthritis medicine for dogs there are a few things to consider.

Arthritis medicines for dogs had never been so useful and functional until today. With the alarming population growth of dogs with arthritis, experts know that it is important to administer reliable medicines for dogs to control or prevent arthritis.

Like humans, dogs have a remarkable array of cartilage, bones, and ligaments that make up the canine skeletal system. Just like the typical bone structures in humans, dogs’ bones are also connected by joints. These joints provide flexibility for jumping, running, moving the neck and head, climbing, and trotting.

Joint Damage

For proper lubrication and to ensure that bones maintain flexibility, a thin membrane known as synovium provides synovial fluid. However, due to the joints’ wear and tear and intermittent cases of diseases or injuries, joints can be damaged and may cause inflammation or arthritis.

The most common cause of dog arthritis is old age. Due to the wear and tear of the joints or cartilages, a protective layer that guarantees bone flexibility, joint inflammation or arthritis develops. And dogs cannot simply escape this condition. And even if there cannot be marvelous medications to treat dog arthritis, much can be done to help dogs bear the pains arthritis can bring.

At some point, surgery can be administered to dogs with severe cases of arthritis. However, most dogs experience manageable arthritis and are simply given medications to control pain. Along with the right diet and consistent exercise, dogs can effectively manage the bouts of arthritis attack.

Pain Relievers

One of the most distracting effects of arthritis in dogs is pain. Unlike humans, who have higher tolerance for pain, dogs may find it hard coping with the soreness and throbbing that arthritis can bring.

Hence, it is important that dogs be given pain relievers. Health experts say that pain relievers used by humans can also be used in dogs. Although dogs are prone to side effects, controlling pain can still be provide significant relief.

For so many years, aspirin has been the most common pain reliever for humans. With this, experts say it can also be used in dogs. However, dog owners should take note that aspirin can also cause stomach irritation in dogs especially if the medication has been taken with an empty stomach. Hence, it is advisable that aspirin must be taken during meals.

Also, keep in mind that dogs should not be given more than two tablets of aspirin in a week. Try to consider your dog’s weight as well for proper dosage. For example, a 30 to 40 pound dog should take half tablet twice a day.

Fewer Side Effects

On the other hand, some medicines are said to be more effective and have fewer side effects. One good example is Rimadyl, generic name for Carprofen. This medication aids in controlling pain. However, just like any drug, long-term use may cause adverse effects such as liver damage. Hence, veterinarians suggest that dogs are subject to regular blood tests just to assess the normal functioning of the liver.

Some medicines are also effective in stimulating the creation of joint fluid known as synovial fluid. They can also impede the accumulation of harmful enzymes that trigger swelling or soreness in the joints. These medications attach to torn or broken cartilage to increase metabolism, thus, speeding up the progress of repair.

One good example is Adequan or polysulfated glycosaminoglycan. This is an injectable medication for dog arthritis. Since it is injectable, Adequan is said to be fast acting and effective when administered through intramuscular injection. Best of all, experts say that this specific type of arthritis medication for dogs can provide pain relief as long as six months.

Some medicines are designed to provide fast relief with minimal side effects and gastrointestinal problems. And with the natural behavior of dogs, some medicines provide ease in administering treatment.

Supplements

Supplements count as one of the most important medications for dogs with arthritis. These medicines do not just provide reliable pain relief but can also promote proper shaping of cartilage and joint.

Veterinarians suggest that these medicines should be administered in dogs that are still at the earliest stage of arthritis. In this way, further damage and inflammation in the joints can be prevented. Moreover, these medicines try to preserve the remaining joints to facilitate growth and repair and maintain the normal functioning of the skeletal system.

To date, there are still no medications that can effectively eliminate dog arthritis. But with the help of arthritis medicines for dogs, such as pain relievers and supplements, dog arthritis can be bearable. To be on the safe side, make sure to discuss all treatments with your veterinarian.


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founder or laminitis in horses

Providing Pain Relief For Laminitic Horses

Founder or Laminitis in Horses

Warmer weather brings with it new green grasses and other lush greens for our horse’s to munch on and with that comes an increase in the number of cases of laminitis and founder. The trigger mechanism(s) for this condition in horses has been hotly debated, as well as how to treat it. There are multiple causes for this condition ranging from mechanical to metabolic. The most prevalent cause, particularly in the spring, appears to be dietary/metabolic issues at work and can be triggered by the intake of feed and/or forages with high sugar contents.

What Is Laminitis/Founder?

Laminitis is an extremely painful condition of the sensitive laminae of the horse hoof in which the bonds between the laminae become compromised and breakdown. This condition is characterized by a very tender sole, particularly near the apex of the frog, heat in the hoof and an unwillingness to move. Because of the excruciating pain in the feet, the horse will typically find a soft place to put its front feet on, sometimes in an elevated location such as a pile of hay. In severe cases, the coffin bone detaches from the hoof wall, rotating downward and can even push through the sole of the hoof. This is the condition known commonly as founder.

 

How Can Equine Massage Help With Laminitis Pain Relief?founder or laminitis in horses

As horse owners, it is hard to watch our horses suffer with the pain of laminitis. We want to do whatever we can to make sure that they are as comfortable as we can make them. I’ve had good success in providing pain relief to horses with mild to severe cases of laminitis using equine massage techniques.

 


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The coffin bone is attached to the deep digital flexor tendon, which is in turn attached to the flexor muscles further up the back of the horse’s leg. In horses with laminitic pain, the muscles in the neck, shoulders and down the back of the legs become very tight in response to compensating for the painful feet. The problem ends up compounding on itself as the tight muscles contract and shorten putting more tension on the already compromised coffin bone and causing even more pain. Massaging the triceps and flexor muscles down the backside of the legs helps to relieve tension on the coffin bone by relaxing the associated soft tissue attachments in the leg, as well as the neck and shoulder which have been in a constant state of contraction.

How Do You Massage A Horse’s Legs?founder or laminitis in horses

When doing a massage on a horse with laminitis, I will typically start at the top and work my way down. You’ll find the rhomboid and trapezius muscles will be very tight because the horse uses the weight of its head as momentum to move its painful front end by throwing the head upward with each step on the painful limb. I always start with a gentler touch at first, then gradually get firmer, reading the horse to know how much pressure is enough. I will use a variety of strokes ranging from petrissage to effleurage to tapotement.

I’ll work each area no more than 5 to 10 minutes. When you get to the muscles at the back of the leg, you can be more effective if the horse’s leg is flexed, and of course do not use tapotement on the lower leg muscles as it can be painful to the horse. You can usually rest the leg on your knee for a minute or so at a time before the horse might need to shift its weight over to the other leg. I massage even the tendons of the lower leg and down to the top of the hoof. Be respectful of your horse’s tolerance for pain. Some horses are more stoic about it than others, but they will all give you signs when they need a break.

You can repeat the massage every day as needed, but usually 2 to 3 times per week is sufficient to see a noticeable difference in your horse’s comfort level. As your horse improves and is less painful, you can also add some extension stretches to the equation to help stretch the soft tissue out.

Always consult your veterinarian before starting any therapy on your horse to make sure there are no contraindications. If you suspect your horse may have laminitis, you should contact your veterinarian immediately.