Dog Arthritis Therapy

What is arthritis?

Dog arthritis therapy is used to manage your dog’s arthritis. Arthritis refers to the inflammation of one or more joints. There are several different types of arthritis with the most common type being osteoarthritis. Osteaoarthritis is a condition where joint cartilage that usually provides cushioning and protection at the ends of bones, wears away. This results in two or more bones rubbing against each other without the cushioning protection of the cartilage. It causes pain, swelling, stiffness and reduced range of motion, and over time bone spurs develop at the edges of the bone, the joint loses strength and the pain becomes chronic.

Why do dogs develop arthritis?

There are multiple factors that result in the development of osteoarthritis including aging, hip or elbow dysplasia, repeated trauma to the joints, inappropriate activity levels at a very young age, increased stess on joints in working dogs and athletes, obesity and diet.

Our dog arthritis therapy explained

At Paws4Paws we take a multimodal approach to your dog’s arthritis. This means we use a variety of modalities and interventions to manage and ideally slow down the degeneration of your dogs joint, improve mobility and decrease pain. We use remedial massage techniques, myofascial pain release, trigger point therapy, rehabilitative strengthening exercises and acupressure to manage your dog’s arthritis.

Muscle atrophy (wastage) around the aching joint is often a byproduct of arthritis and unfortunately accelerates the degeneration of the joint. Joints rely upon strong and healthy muscles to support them and we at Paws4Paws make sure to help your dog maintain and (and potentially gain) muscle mass by using targeted low impact strengthening exercises. A strong core is particularly important for stability and balance and we can help your dog achieve better core strength also. 

Further, your dog’s inflamed and achy joints will lead to compensatory patterns and an altered gait which means other parts of your dog’s body work much harder than they are designed to. Whilst subtle compensatory patterns are often not visible to the untrained eye (mainly in the early stages of the arthritis), it nevertheless leads to prolonged overload and results in tight and tense muscles, including the development of spasms and painful trigger points. As tight muscles are prone to injury there is a high risk of further damage. At Paws4Paws we ensure the release of tension and tightness to decrease pain and avoid a secondary injury.

We will also provide you with a customised home exercise program tailored to the needs of your dog and discuss potential home environment modifications to decrease your dog’s discomfort and slow down the degenerative of their joints.

At Paws4Paws we also refer to other specialists such as hydrotherapists and acupuncturists if we feel your dog would benefit from these modalities. Further, we might refer you back to your vet for reassessment of your dog’s pain management should we suspect your dog might be in pain that cannot be controlled and addressed with natural remedies, supplements and physical therapy alone.