Wednesday, March 26, 2008

An Ounce of Prevention... It's Not So Different for Your Dog

A previous blog post addressed ways to prevent arthritis in humans. Now I want to talk about arthritis prevention for man's best friend. No surprisingly, the tips are very similar in beast as they are for man.

•Loss the weight: Maintaining proper weight is key to arthritis prevention in man and in beast. And since we humans (ideally) control what the dog eats and how much he eats, controlling the dog's weight might be easier than controlling our own. Just remember, you are doing your dog no favors by slipping him treats and table scraps.
•Exercise: This is easy prevention for dogs. Unlike we humans, who seem to have an aversion to exercise, dogs love it. They beg for it. Cut back on the food, but give your dog all the exercise it wants.
•But don’t over do it: Take Fido out for several 10-15 minute walks daily instread of one long walk, especially if your dog is getting up there in years. •Diet: A natural diet high in vitamins and minerals is essential for healthy bones and tissue.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Canine Arthritis Symptoms

It sure would be easy if your beloved dog could speak up and tell you that his joints are hurting. They can't so it's up to you to recognize the the signs and symptoms of canine arthritis.

Canine Arthritis Symptoms: Here are a few signs that your beloved pet has painful joints;

  • Has trouble getting up from a lying position
  • Avoids stairs
  • Is slow moving
  • Is slow to lie down
  • Avoids jumping
  • Plays less
  • Sleeps more
  • Is less excited to see you when you come home
  • Has weight gain

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Common Arthritis Causes

There are over 100 different types of arthritis and probably as many causes of arthritis as there are types of arthritis. The most common cause of arthritis though is wear and tear.

So what causes wear and tear on the joints? Here are the most common;
• Age: As age increases, so does the risk of arthritis. Cartilage becomes more brittle and is more likely to wear away with the aging process, leaving the joints without the protective cushioning it needs.
• Injury: Often, a previous injury can accelerate the wear and tear process on the joint and lead to arthritis later in life.
• Excess weight: Extra weight increases the pressure on joints, which can result in an earlier onset of arthritis.
• Sports: Years of playing tennis will stress the elbow. Football and baseball can stress the knees. If you stick with one sport for many years, you can increase the chance of arthritis later in life.
• Occupational Hazards: A number of jobs can contribute to the onset of arthritis. Jobs, such as assembly line work, with repeatative motion for extended periods of time can lead to tendonitis or other forms of arthritis. Construction work and other jobs that require constant heavy lifting can also contribute to arthritis.
• Infection: Both viral and bacterial infections can result in the onset of certain types of arthritis.
• Stress: Not only will it kill you, it can make the trip to the grave a painful one. Being under too much stress can upset the body’s hormonal balance, which in turn upsets the body’s immune system. A weakened immune system leaves you vulnerable to foreign bacteria, which can result in the onset of arthritis.
• Genetic predisposition: While heredity plays less of a role than your own lifestyle, it does play a role. If your mom hobbles around on arthritic knees, you might want to give yours a little extra special care.

You can't do much about your genetics but there is plenty you can do about the other common causes of wear and tear on the joints. With that in mind, you can reduce the wear and tear on your joints by;
• Avoiding repetitive movements.
• Keeping joints flexible and muscles strong with a regular exercise routine. • Avoid lifting heavy objects that are too heavy.
• Live a life of balance and moderation.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Canine Arthritis

Yes, dogs get arthritis too. It is estimated that over 10 million dogs have been diagnosed and 31% of owners state that it is an a real problem for their pets. Canine arthritis is most common in older and large breed dogs since they will put more weight on their joints than the smaller pets. However don't overlook the signs of arthritis in any size pet as they get older.

Pain and discomfort is the same for pets as it is for humans, cartiliage breaks down around the joint in them as it does in us humans. The same medication glucosamine and chrondroitin work for pets as well as humans in relieving pain. MSM also works beautifully for dogs with arthritis. There are an assortment of pet foods that already include these supplements for the older pet.

Remember that your pet cannot speak to you about what ails him, so keep an eye on your pet and recognize the signs of pain.