Just like humans, our dogs go through old age with a fair amount of challenges. From minor conditions such as lethargy and loss of appetite to life-threatening infections such as cancer, the old age is indeed a trying time in the lives of our furry friends.
One of the most common health conditions among ageing dogs is arthritis. In this post, we shall narrow down our focus to arthritis in Greyhounds.
What Causes Arthritis In Greyhounds?
Arthritis in greyhounds comes about as a result of damage and breakdown of joint cartilage. As you probably already know, cartilage is the cushion that lies between the bones so when it gets damaged, the bones are directly exposed to one another. It is the resultant abrasion effect that leads to pain and inflammation in the joints of your greyhound.
There are many factors that could lead to the wastage of cartilage in the joints. The main ones include chronic infections or major injuries to the joints, normal weight-bearing that happens throughout the dog’s life and joint malformations that result from poor dieting and inactivity. Among the many dog breeds out there, greyhounds are the most prone to old-age arthritis because they are large-breed dogs that are also used in racing activities.
Arthritis in greyhounds will manifest in various ways. You might notice stiffness when your dog is walking, inability to jump over hurdles, reluctance to climb the stairs, difficulty in rising and occasional cries during movement.
It is important to remember that these symptoms will also depend on the severity of the condition. Some greyhounds may be rendered totally inactive due to stiffness and painful joints. They may become temperamental and could be easily agitated as the pain becomes unbearable. This is why it is important, as a dog owner, to ensure the condition is addressed right at the onset of the first symptoms.
How Can You Deal With It?
One of the most natural ways to deal with arthritis in greyhounds is by monitoring the weight of the dog. This can be done in two ways; feeding it with supplements that contain fewer calories and talking it for a walk every day. When it comes to feeding, you could opt for raw foods that are rich in healthy oils such as organic coconut and salmon. A 15-20 minutes’ walk done 2 or 3 times a day will help your greyhound to remain just active enough to keep weight gain at bay.
In addition to good feeding and exercise habits, you could also use certain anti-inflammatory and joint supplements to help with pain relief. It is always advisable to opt for home remedies or all-natural solutions when choosing the best anti-inflammatory supplement and one that deserves a mention here is Yucca. There are plenty of joint supplements and a little research online will introduce you to some renowned brands. When choosing such a supplement, look out for those that contain higher levels of chondroitin, Vitamin C, MSM and Glucosamine.
When the condition is so severe, then more intensive measures can be taken such as acupuncture and the administration of cold laser.
Most greyhounds have arthritis and suffer in silence because the symptoms do not always show. As a responsible dog owner, it is important to take it out to regular clinical checks at a veterinary clinic for any possible diagnosis of this debilitating condition.