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Stosh enjoying winter weather, Owner: Lisa Marie Press, USA



Arthritis in PONS

Arthritis can be a disturbing diagnosis, but fortunately itís something owners can deal with in an informed manner.  
The following information serves a range of purposes. Some relieve pain, others relieve inflammation, some rebuild tissue. When owners use the information as part of a total plan, they work well to relieve a PON's arthritis symptoms. 
Lose weight
Excessive weight is hard on joints. Shed the pounds to relieve joint stress. Not sure if your PON is overweight? Try this: Standing next to your PON, place your thumbs on his spine and your fingers on his sides. If you canít easily feel ribs, your PON is overweight. Talk to your vet about what your PON's target weight should be.
Reduce or eliminate grains
Grains may increase inflammation, which makes arthritis more severe. Check your PON's dog food label for ingredients such as wheat, corn, and rice. Commercial dog foods often use these ingredients as cheap fillers. Eliminating these ingredients may also help with weight reduction. These days, there are many grain-free dog foods. Also consider home cooking and raw feeding.
Gentle exercise will help strengthen muscles. Stronger muscles serve to support joints. Daily walks and swimming are good exercise for dogs with arthritis. Speak to your vet about the amount of exercise your PON should be getting, as too much will hurt his joints. Daily exercise will also help shed pounds and maintain ideal body weight.
Fish oil supplements contain high levels of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. These fatty acids reduce inflammation, easing the swelling around joints. Some commercial dog foods include omega 3ís and 6ís in their ingredients, but donít exclusively rely on them. Fatty acids are sensitive to heat, so if the food has been stored in warm temperatures for any amount of time, theyíre virtually useless as far as omega fatty acids go. Ask your vet how much fish oil  is appropriate for your PON
Glucosamine and chondroitin supplements are well known in dealing with arthritis.: They have been shown to help rebuild cartilage.  Some owners offer these supplements after arthritis sets in, but owners of PONS prone to arthritis (overweight PONS) have experienced success starting their PONS on it as a preventative. Discuss with your vet about dosage.
Apply heat
Moist heat is wonderful for relieving pain. Fill heat packs with warm water and apply to painful joints. This is effective at the end of an active day, on cold winter evenings, and any other time you see your PON suffering from a flare-up.
Raise dishes
Eating off the floor adds strain to PON necks and backs, especially if theyíre already dealing with arthritis. To relieve strain, make the switch to raised dishes.
Massage reduces pain
Massage helps stimulate blood flow, reduce inflammation, and ease pain. Check out classes for therapeutic canine massage. This is  a simple, natural way to relieve your PON's pain, and itís also a lovely time for improving your relationship with your PON.
Find a holistic veterinarian near you
In addition to referrals from your veterinarian, here are a few options to find a holistic doctor near you: American Academy of Veterinary Acupuncture American Veterinary Chiropractic Association Canine Rehabilitation Institute American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association American Association of Rehabilitative Veterinarians Veterinary Botanical Medicine Association