Managing Your Elderly Dog's Arthritis Pain: Options For You

Posted on: 28 June 2016

When your dog has been a part of your family for several years, it may still come as a shock one day when they are suddenly considered a senior or elderly dog. It may be even more surprising when your veterinarian diagnoses them with arthritis. Arthritis is actually a fairly common condition in dogs and often develops as they get older. While you cannot prevent them from having arthritis, there are treatments that you can get for your dog that will help manage their arthritis pain and improve their overall quality of life. Get to know some of these treatment options so that you can be sure that you are taking the best possible care of your elderly dog's health and well-being.

Cold Laser Therapy

Cold laser therapy is one of the best treatment options to help with arthritis pain and discomfort in dogs. This is a therapeutic treatment, meaning that it is non-surgical and requires no anesthesia and is non-invasive.

A cold laser therapy session involves the use of concentrated and focused light energy (the laser) to target the tissues in and around your dog's joints that are inflamed and painful. The laser penetrates the skin (without cutting it) and uses thermal energy to sooth the pain. This thermal energy can also jump start your dog's immune system and trigger it to try to repair the tissues in the joints, further reducing arthritis symptoms.

Dogs that go through cold laser therapy often have several sessions in quick succession (multiple sessions a week) when treatments first start to get faster and more noticeable results. However, after they have been going through the treatment for a while, the session frequency can decrease significantly.

Massage Therapy

If you are not yet ready to try cold laser therapy with your dog or it is not available through your veterinary clinic, another option to manage your dog's arthritis pain is massage therapy. Believe it or not, there are massage therapists that specialize in the care of animals rather than humans, and massage sessions for your dog can greatly improve their arthritis symptoms.

A massage therapist will manually manipulate your dog's soft tissues (muscles) to relieve tension and stiffness that can occur due to arthritis. This can help to limber your dog up, making it easier for them to walk, run, and maneuver without pain. Massages are also calming and relaxing to dogs, helping them to feel more content and triggering the release of endorphins which can further improve their overall sense of well-being.

With these canine arthritis pain management techniques in mind, you can be sure that you are doing everything you can to keep your elderly dog's arthritis under control. To learn more, contact a center such as Providence Veterinary Hospital Inc.