What are the symptoms of arthritis?
Pain in the joint is the most common; however, there can be lethargy, swelling of an affected leg or limping. Reluctance to climb stairs, difficulty jumping into a vehicle, increased stiffness, particularly after resting, or lagging behind on walks may also be indicative of canine arthritis.
Dogs are unique in the sense that they do not require inflammation or pain prior to the formation of degenerative changes in the joint. In some cases, your veterinarian does not have any idea how or when these changes began, but once started there is a negative snowball effect.
What is the best way to treat arthritis in a Greyhound?
With a multimodal approach that includes the following:
Disease-modifying osteoarthritis drugs (DMOADs) such as Adequan®
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Dermaxx®
Diet-mainly by adding Omega 3s
Regular evaluations by a veterinarian.
Are there any treatments people have tried that are harmful and should be avoided?
Aspirin - it causes GI bleeding and should not be given to your Greyhound. Whatever you do, do not give prednisone and aspirin or other NSAIDs together unless directed by your veterinarian. Doing so may cause an ulcer or even death.
How to prevent or delay the effects?
The best way for preventing or delaying the effects of arthritis is to keep dogs thin and supplement their diets with Omega 3s. Also, making sure your Greyhound is routinely screened by your veterinarian for signs of arthritis is important for early detection and treatment.
For those Greyhound owners who fortunately have a pool, swimming for dogs with arthritis is very beneficial. Since it is a non-weight bearing activity, it will strengthen the cardiovascular and muscular systems without placing excessive stress on bones and joints.