Is Fido limping? It could be a case of canine rheumatoid arthritis.
Most of the bigger varieties of dogs develop arthritis as they age. Indeed, some breeds are prone to developing osteoarthritis. However, canine rheumatoid arthritis is different from other forms of arthritis in that it can attack dogs of any age.
So, regardless of whether your dog is six months old or six years old, your pet could be a potential sufferer.
Canine rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that is triggered by the dog’s body when it fights off viruses. As a result, even healthy joints and tissues are attacked.
This gives rise to inflammation which ultimately leads to permanent joint damage. Even healthy joints are damaged.
Lose excess weight: For any dog that suffers from canine rheumatoid arthritis, the fitness mantra is to lose excess weight.
So, what’s the relationship between an autoimmune disease (in which the body attacks itself) and weight, you ask?
Although excess weight does not contribute directly to the problem, it is true that joints that are being damaged due to the condition are subjected to further deterioration and degeneration when they have to support excess weight.
Excess weight causes pain and discomfort.
Take your dog for regular exercise. Walking and running must be encouraged. Feed your dog foods that are healthy.
Nutrition: Just as in humans, nutrition plays a vital role in the overall health of your dog. Omega-3 fatty acids are known to help humans fight off rheumatoid arthritis.
Thus, feeding dogs with foods enriched with Omega-3 lowers the risk of developing this form of arthritis. Fish is the best source. In case you cannot add fish, add fish oils to your dog’s food.
A recent article in the Journal of American Veterinary Medical Association reports that the use of fish oils is good for dogs with osteoarthritis.
Vitamin C helps strengthen the immune system of the body in both humans as well as animals. Supplementing your pet’s food with healthy doses of Vitamin C may not arrest rheumatoid arthritis altogether but it will restrict the damage caused by body attacking the joints.
Thus, the process is slowed down and your pet can carry on enjoying the current levels of mobility.
Pain control: Several tests have shown that rheumatoid arthritis gets worse with inflammation and pain. Therefore, it is necessary to treat the pain with pain killers and anti-inflammation medications in order to restrict the spread of inflammation.
Supplementation: Dietary supplements can slow down or stop the destruction or weakening of joints. Some useful supplements include Chondroitin Sulphate and Glucosamine.
It is difficult to pinpoint a single treatment system. The best option is to work with your vet to decide on the most effective way to limit the damaging effects of canine rheumatoid arthritis.