It may be small changes in your pet that you don’t notice overnight. Maybe your Boston has a harder time waking up in the morning … maybe she looks like she’s in pain when going on long walks on jumping off the couch. Arthritis isn’t always easy to spot.
None of us want to accept the fact that our dogs are getting older…
Don’t stress though …
There are plenty of things you can do to help make your Boston Terrier more comfortable and pain free so she continues to have a great quality of life!
Some common indicators of arthritis are:
- Avoiding once enjoyable activities— like jumping, running, and walking.
- Depression or change in mood.
- Change in eating habits.
Of course these symptoms could also be the sign of something more serious such as cancer… or it could be the sign of nothing at all, so it’s always important to consult with your veterinarian when addressing health issues.
Your veterinarian should be able to give your more specific information regarding the diagnosis. Your vet will most likely run a series of blood tests, physical exams, X rays, and/or MRI imaging to determine what type of arthritis your dog suffers from and what caused it.
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis in dogs. It’s a degenerative joint disease that causes the cartilage in your dog’s joints to wear down as time goes by. As the cartilage wears down, the bones start rubbing together and eventually damage the bones.
Unfortunately there isn’t a cure for osteoarthritis, however, the pain can be managed with diet, exercise, lifestyle changes, and other medical procedures. Osteoarthritis most commonly causes pain in places on the body that carry weight such as the hips, knees, and shoulders.
When you meet with your vet, he should explain the different treatment options available to you. There are a lot of new medications, steroids, and anti-inflammatory drugs that help decrease swelling and ease pain. Supplements are also often used to help fortify damaged joints.
Surgery for Arthritis
Surgery is normally only considered to be a treatment option for younger dogs suffering from arthritis. The vet goes in and surgically tries to reconstruct joints for more stability. Sometimes they opt to perform an arthroscopy to remove chips of damaged bone.
Your vet will let you know if your dog is eligible for surgery. They usually take your dog’s age, general health, and the progression of the arthritis into consideration when making a decision.
6 Things You Can Do to Make Your Dog’s Life Easier!
If your dog is suffering from arthritis, here are some things you can do to make his/her life easier!
- Have food and water bowls available at a comfortable height, and available on every floor of the house (for multi-level houses).
- Padded surface to sleep on in a warm, draft-free area of the house!
- Add non-skid runners to slippery floors.
- Use ramps for places your dog needs to climb on.
- Supervised time outside (a dog with arthritis should not be left alone).
- Keep your dog groomed. Dogs with arthritis can’t reach certain spots they used to groom themselves.
Keep Your Dog Happy and Active!
Once you’ve treated the arthritis and made changes to your dog’s environment you want to make sure you don’t limit your dog too much. Try to incorporate moderate exercise into your daily routine. Make it as fun as possible and use treats as an incentive!
Put your doggie on a diet! Managing your dog’s weight will make managing her arthritis easier too!
Remember, arthritis in dogs isn’t necessarily the end of the world. There are many treatment options available to make life easier.
If you have any tips or suggestions for the readers please leave a comment below!