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.
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.
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.
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.