INFORMATION + RESOURCES
Read below for valuable information about common conditions dogs can experience, as well as links to helpful resources to help keep your pup healthy and feeling their best!
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If your dog is dealing with the discomfort of arthritis I can help! Massaging a pet with arthritis can significantly improve its quality of life. There are two types of arthritis:
Osteoarthritis, also referred to as Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD), is a progressively worsening inflammation of the joint caused by the deterioration of cartilage.
In a healthy joint, cartilage acts as a cushion to allow the joint to move smoothly through its full range of motion. In cases of osteoarthritis, this cartilage cushion begins to break down because of factors such as age, injury, stress on the joint, or disease. The loss of this protective cushion results in pain, inflammation and a decreased range of motion.
Rhuematoid arthritis, while relatively uncommon in dogs, is an autoimmune disease that attacks the joints. Like other types of arthritis, there is lameness, but rhuematoid arthritis degrades the cartilage. The body mistakes its own proteins for foreign ones and tries to eradicate them.
Symptoms of arthritis include stiffness, lameness/limping, appetite loss or unusual weight gain, inactivity and sleeping more, reluctance to walk, run or climb stairs and/or behavioural changes. A veterinarian can diagnose arthritis based on your dog's age, medical history and a physical exam. X-rays of the joint may also be necessary to determine severity.
Massage can increase circulation, reduce inflammation, swelling, pain and stiffness and promote mobility by loosening up constricted muscles and tissues.
Dysplasia is a progressive, degenerative disease that can present itself in the elbows and hips joints, causing pain and discomfort.
Elbow dysplasia is when there is abnormal development of the elbow joint, resulting in the 3 bones (humerus, radius, ulna) not fitting together perfectly. Look for the following:
Elbows at an unusual angle
Lameness or abnormal gait in the front leg(s)
Unwillingness to move around or play
Swelling/tenderness at the joint
Hip dysplasia is the abnormal growth and development of the hip joint. Normally, the head of the femur fits tighly within the hip socket. In hip dysplasia, the joint does not fit together snugly, causing instability and pain. Look for the following:
Stiffness in the hind end
Lameness of abnormal gait in the hind leg(s)
Difficulty moving, using stairs, jumping into vehicles
Guarding hips and legs
There are a number of symptoms, so if you think your pet is in pain,
make sure to schedule a visit with your vet.
Massage can be a great tool to help decrease pain, release tension and
encourage relaxation in dogs with dysplasia!
Check back often as more information is added here!
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The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association is the voice of the Canadian veterinary profession in promoting animal welfare and One Health to ensure optimal care for animals, people, and the environment.
The CVMA is the national and international voice for Canada’s veterinarians, providing leadership and advocacy for veterinary medicine.