Dogs age gracefully such as humans. But old age brings conditions that you normally don’t see in younger animals. One of these conditions is arthritis.
But arthritis can develop even at a young age of a dog, especially if the dog has suffered some kind of injury to its joints. In this article, we will learn about arthritis and treatment, especially the use of stem cells which is considered to be a new way to fight the war against this illness.
What do you need to know about arthritis in dogs?
Arthritis is an inflammatory condition of the joints, where due to damage of the cartilage dogs can feel great pain, discomfort, and stiffness. When the cartilage gets damaged, it causes the bone to rub over bone, leading to pain and since there is no new cartilage replacement, the bone starts to grow in those places, causing the stiffness of the joint.
As we mentioned above, arthritis is a disease of old age, however, younger dogs may not be spared from it as well. This condition usually develops after ligament damage, fractures, or abnormal or damaged joint cartilage.
What are the clinical signs of dogs with arthritis and how is it diagnosed?
Owners are good at noticing changes in their dogs. And dogs that have joint pain are always reluctant to get up and move. This is especially more noticeable when they are trying to get up after a longer period of rest, where the owner notices the dog being stiff-like.
In general, these dogs can show more or fewer signs of pain, so sometimes they may not be even happy when they are offered their favorite meal, because they need to walk to it. When something pains them, dogs tend to lick those places, so owners should watch out for their dogs licking the joints or wet spots around them.
Once the dog starts to show signs of discomfort when walking, it should be brought to a doctor for an evaluation. The vet will ask the owner; when the first time they noticed these changes, has anything happened, like an injury prior to the dog showing signs of stiffness, etc. And after all that talk is over, the physical examination will begin.
Someonewhers may find it strange why the vet will be looking at the dogs’ ears when they brought it in for a walking problem, but this is all part of the procedure and we don’t want to miss out on anything.
When it comes to checking the locomotory system, the vet will ask you to walk the dog for them so they can observe how the dog moves. This shows them where the problem might be so that they can focus on further examination.
Flexion and extension of the limbs are good ways to check how your dog will react and whenever a dog is in pain, they show it.
How is arthritis treated in dogs?
Unfortunately, this condition does not have a cure. But it can be very well managed with proper food intake, supplements, and pain medicine.
Dogs usually tend to live long lives if their owners are committed to following the recommendations vets make.
Keep in mind your dog may not run as it used to, but it will still get to go on walks with you, but maybe just at a slower pace. Swimming is also another good form of exercise for dogs that have arthritis.
A new way to manage arthritis in dogs…
Nowadays it is becoming quite popular and promising the use of stem cells to treat arthritis. Even Though this does not offer a cure, it helps the dogs be pain-free and returned to their normal selves in no time.
Stem cell therapy is a regenerative treatment method that involves the use of stem cells in the effects joining or bone tissue in order to help the healing process of the cartilage or bone that was affected by an injury or a disease.
It is a long process that first requires the vet to harvest tissue that later will be used for treatment. For this, the dog will need to be put under general anesthesia and samples from the bone marrow or fatty tissue are collected.
This tissue is then processed in special types of laboratories under special circumstances and the final product gets sent back to the vet so that they can then use it where it is needed.
Scientists believe that dogs that have undergone this procedure have shown a great percentage of pain relief after the treatment. Owners also have reported that their dogs feel much better and are more puppies after they have received the stem cell treatment. This means that the method is showing encouraging results.
The treatment for a dog’s arthritis with stem cells could cost the owner up to $3000 and this is without the cost of diagnostics and vet visits.