The Best Treatment for Dog Osteoarthritis

October 24, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Does your dog have degenerative joint disease otherwise known as osteoarthritis? Has it been difficult to treat? There are many different treatment options to control this disease process. Many of them work well and some do not work at all and it is very dependent on the individual dog. There is one treatment that stands out above all others as a significant improvement to the dog’s health and comfort.

No, it is not giving him a ton of supplements. It is not giving him a bunch of anti-inflammatory pills everyday. It is not chiropractic or acupuncture. No – the number one treatment and preventative of osteoarthritis in dogs is optimal weight using a restricted diet.

overweight dog

Most dogs with symptomatic osteoarthritis are overweight. What do I mean by symptomatic? It means they are actually sore, having a difficult time standing up after laying, difficulty with stairs, difficulty jumping, can not walk for long distances without limping, etc. etc. Now there are dogs with osteoarthritis that are not symptomatic and guess what these dogs are usually at their ideal weight or even thinner.

Studies have shown that dogs on a restricted diet do not have problems with osteoarthritis. Even dogs with trauma induced arthritis such as found in a torn meniscus from a knee injury, do much better at a lighter weight. Dogs with surgical repairs to their knees do markedly much better when they are thin and not heavy.

Here are a couple of those research studies –
A longitudinal study of the influence of lifetime food restriction on development of osteoarthritis in the canine elbow.
The effects of lifetime food restriction on the development of osteoarthritis in the canine shoulder.
Diet restriction and ageing in the dog: major observations over two decades.
Effect of weight reduction on clinical signs of lameness in dogs with hip osteoarthritis.

This last study showed that weight loss alone can result in a significant improvement in lameness in a dog with osteoarthritis.

So be sure to keep your dogs weight under control by reducing the amount of food they consume and increasing the amount of activity the dog does. You know just like us – less calories and more exercise and you will have your weight under control. A fat dog is not a happy dog it is an unhealthy dog. So keep your dog at an ideal weight and you will have a happy healthier dog with less problems with osteoarthritis.

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About Dr Daniel Beatty
An Infopreneur with a Veterinary Medicine degree.

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