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Osteoarthritis in dogs: information and help

Suddenly, jumping into the car no longer works by itself. Every time getting up and lying down becomes a torture. And climbing stairs is almost impossible to think of any more.

Osteoarthritis is the number one cause of chronic pain in old dogs.

Even if osteoarthritis is a widespread phenomenon, especially in old dogs, the limitations in quality of life do not simply have to be helplessly accepted.

Osteoarthritis cannot be cured, but its course can be slowed down with the right measures.

The earlier you start to take countermeasures, the better the effect.

Since the course of osteoarthritis depends very individually on the dog and the affected joint, it can take a few attempts to find the ideal way for your dog senior.

Here are some of the things to try for osteoarthritis in old dogs:

1. Seek help from the vet!

Pretty obvious, isn’t it?

The therapy of osteoarthritis in old dogs by a veterinarian has one main goal:

Live as pain-free as possible with the least possible impairment of quality of life.

Occasional surgical procedures are carried out in humans, which are intended to correct possible incorrect stresses on the joints and remove disruptive tissue material.

In dogs, this method is not lightly considered because the affected dog patients are often old and do not recover as quickly from surgery.

The drug of choice is usually pain therapy.

We know that the pain caused by osteoarthritis is communicated through various signaling pathways in the body.

It is therefore not uncommon for the veterinarian to prescribe several preparations to interrupt all of these signaling pathways.

Sometimes injections are also used, which are injected close to or directly into the inflamed joint and are intended to provide relief in particularly severe arthritic changes.

2. Canine physiotherapy can relieve symptoms of osteoarthritis in dogs

A specialist canine physiotherapist can help you put together a small exercise program for the home.

He knows which exercises are gentle on the joints, but can have a positive effect on maintaining mobility.

Some practices are equipped with an underwater treadmill. This enables training with a reduced weight load on the joints due to the buoyancy in the water.

Massages and other additional services can also have a beneficial effect on a geriatric animal and relieve muscle tension through the permanent relieving posture.

Physiotherapists for pets are now actually nationwide.

The best thing to do is to inquire with your dog friends and the veterinarian and have a good dog physiotherapist recommended.

3. Dietary supplements for osteoarthritis

All over the internet you can find anecdotes about which remedies help with osteoarthritis and which don’t really.

Since this also often depends on the individual dog and its history of illness, it is sometimes worth trying out a bit yourself.

Some of the preparations and medicinal plants against osteoarthritis complaints in old dogs aim to better supply the body with the building blocks for synovial fluid or cartilage tissue.

Still other preparations are ascribed an anti-inflammatory effect.

In both cases, a permanent dose should serve to reduce the symptoms of inflammation and thus pain in the old dog.

There is a whole range of ready-to-use mixtures that have been formulated from high-quality substances especially for osteoarthritis in old dogs.


4. Ideal weight relieves the joints

Obesity in dogs is one of the triggering factors for premature joint wear. And once the osteoarthritis is there, being overweight worsens the course due to the pressure on the joints.

In addition, dogs with osteoarthritis pain usually move even less than before and thus continue to put on weight.

So if your senior dog is a bit too chubby and shows the first signs of lameness, it is very important to reduce his weight.

A large exercise program is usually no longer appropriate for really old dogs with advanced osteoarthritis.

The approach to Slimming your old dog should therefore probably be more about feed quality and feed quantity.

Take a look at the article Diet tips for dogs an.

5. Prevent slipping on smooth floors

Senior dogs can become quite shaky due to osteoarthritis and can sway and lose their balance on smooth floors.

The sensitive pain that such a slip can cause worries the dog about the next fall.

This often leads to a refusal to move or excessive caution and tension when running.

And that is precisely what makes walking on smooth surfaces, in addition to the actual accidents, particularly strenuous for old dogs with osteoarthritis.

This problem can be solved by laying carpet runners at particularly critical points (in curves, in front of the food bowl).

And you can get the dog used to it voluntarily Dog shoes with non-slip soles to get dressed.


I know that most dogs react with fierce resistance when you put shoes on them. This indignant rumgestackse with the legs should definitely be avoided with joint pain.

It is better to put on the dog shoes loosely every now and then while cuddling and carefully get the dog used to the wearing comfort before doing the first run.

6. Avoid climbing stairs with osteoarthritis as much as possible

Especially when going down stairs are often an obstacle that old dogs can hardly manage.

Not only osteoarthritis, but also other joint diseases and diminishing eyesight make it difficult to cope with the stairs, which are often too steep for dogs anyway.

Often our aged companions overestimate each other and then get stuck whining and helpless in the middle of the stairs. But worse things can happen quickly, especially with smooth and open stairs.

It is therefore advisable, before your old dog suffers the first fall of stairs, to cordon off open staircases with such a partition from Amazon or another obstacle.

I think it’s practically having something in the house with dogs anyway.

In addition to the anti-slip socks already mentioned, step mats can also provide more grip for stairs that are impossible to lock off completely or that the senior dog has to cope with in everyday life.

If stairs cannot be avoided, the dog must be provided with walking aids:

7. Walking and carrying aids for particularly shaky runners

If your dog has problems climbing stairs or can hardly find the right position to do his small and big business, it is time for a walking aid.

It is often enough for larger dogs wide towel or scarf to stretch the dog’s stomach and at least help a little while running.

On the go and with small dogs, this is not that practical.

A solution here is to attach a leash to extend the arm.

There are a number of baby carriers on the market for dogs with joint problems.

There are versions in all possible (and in my eyes also quite absurd) price ranges.

Yes, crockery like this has to be suitable, comfortable and suitable for continuous use, of course. But I would only accept prices of over 150 euros for a custom-made product.

This can also be done more cheaply while the quality is certainly comparable!

Depending on the joint affected, the best solution is either one Carrying harness from the hiking supplies for dogs or waist belt for general relief.

But there are also carrying aids that are either on the forehand or – most of them need that – only on the hindquarters be worn.


8. Do not let dogs with osteoarthritis rust

There is no scientific data on the correct amount of exercise for older dogs with osteoarthritis.

For this, the severity of this disease is also too individually dependent on the affected joint as well as the age, weight and other characteristics of the sick dog.

However, it can be assumed that no movement at all is at least as harmful to the old dog’s body as a little too much movement.

So it is important to find the right size for your dog. For senior dogs with osteoarthritis that are still active, activities that involve hard stops should be avoided hobbies that are easier on the joints such as swimming and Sniffing games be replaced.

Very old dogs with osteoarthritis should be encouraged rather than a few times a day rather than a long, strenuous walk a day small route at your own pace to be completed.

9. Make eating and drinking more convenient

Stooping can be very painful for arthritic dogs.

The area around the bowls should be covered with a non-slip surface such as a carpet to prevent slipping while eating and drinking.

In addition, the bowls should be positioned in an elevated position so that the strenuous stooping is no longer necessary.

There are a number of nice solutions on the Internet for this. On Amazon there are cheap and / or tasteful solutions like this metal feed counter and at You can find many handcrafted designer dog counters on Etsy.

10. Entry ramps for the car

Old dogs with osteoarthritis cannot and should not jump in and even less out of the car.

But very few physically manage to load a large Labrador or an even larger dog several times a day on their own. Especially since dogs with sore joints understandably do not like to be lifted up.

Since you are not alone with this problem, there are entry aids for dogs to buy.

One should keep in mind when buying that the ramp bears the dog’s weight, the length of the ramp one not too steep entry angles offers and that the entry aid for the dog can be reduced to a portable level and so also fits in the car.

These Entry ramp made of aluminum with anti-slip coating from Trixie can be loaded up to 120 kg and can be folded up to save space. You can’t really complain about the price.

11. Climbing aids for furniture

Dogs that have been allowed to stay on our upholstered furniture and in bed all their lives no longer understand the world when they are suddenly forbidden to do so.

And you don’t want to deprive your already restricted senior of the small comforts of old age in his golden years.

One way to solve this problem for your dog would be to move a small staircase or ramp to his favorite piece of furniture and to convince him of its usefulness with a little training.

Of the many furniture stairs for pets, many are made of foam. These are especially for the very little dogs who shouldn’t take the deep jump off the sofa every time.

These solutions often do not offer enough support for arthritic joints. A stronger material and a non-slip installation option should have priority here.

For small dogs, you can make a staircase yourself from sturdy cardboard boxes and a bit of fabric tape. For larger dogs, a broad step from the human requirement is often enough to place on a non-slip surface.

12. Nail care can improve the gait pattern

Too long claws can increase the pain for the dog when walking.

Claw care at …

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