By: Paige Anderson @demigoddesschronicle
After months of being in quarantine due to Covid-19, I noticed a few things about my dog Max that I had not before. I admit, I was working long hours on a start-up and was not paying close attention. I always gave him his vitamins, though. My work schedule kept me busy and by the time I returned home, I was exhausted. So, needless to say, I did not notice the subtle signs of his painful arthritis. I was a bad mom. I was aware though that he was getting older so when he was stiff and began moaning and groaning when he got up, I just figured he was slowing down.
After being with him 24/7 during he lockdown, I noticed everything about his unnatural condition. It was clear that it was more that just age and stiff joints. He was sensitive to petting and being brushed – especially near his hip. My neighbor just happened to have a daughter who was a vet tech and she took a look at Max. She told me that Max probably had joint damage. Dogs have joints that can be susceptible to a number of diseases she said, including arthritis. Did Max have joint damage? She also said that it could produce arthritis and that could lead to degenerative disorders, trauma, infections, and immune disorders. I knew he was in pain, but I did not realize how severe of a condition he was in! How did this happen? It could be something simple like jumping into his favorite chair or into the car. Hmmm, Max did have a favorite chair and he does love riding with the top down…
One of the ways that I made sure Max was in less pain was making sure his home environment was comfortable. The air needed to be warm because a cold temperature can worsen arthritis symptoms. And dampness also leads to increased pain so he needed to be laying on material and bedding that whisked moisture away. I put his favorite chair out on the curb and then bought a couple of orthopedic beds.
He loved the beds immediately. They are easy to access and have super soft bedding that he just melts into. It totally cushioned his sore joints and I can tell that he is a lot happier. Next, we limited our ball chasing and instead walk gingerly around the neighborhood. Exercise reduces inflammation so we now take it slow. And he also takes a daily vitamin for his joints (and I started taking one for me too)! Arthritis is scary. It is a condition in which a dogs joints become inflamed. I don’t know how or why it happened to Max. Looking back, he showed these symptoms through soreness, stiffness and tiredness. Now I know. In dogs, as well as humans, arthritis is very painful and the best solution is paying close attention to changes in your dogs behavior so you can provide comfort asap. And more belly rubs of course.