Older dogs are prone to developing arthritis. However, even young dogs can develop arthritis due to trauma to the joint, hereditary malformations, breeding issues, unstable joints, poor diet, and infection. Early detection is key to slowing the degenerative process and managing the dog’s level of pain.
Indicators of canine arthritis include:
- Reluctance to play, walk, run, climb, jump
- Swelling and heat at the site
- Favoring a limb (limping)
- Difficulty getting up or standing
- Moving stiffly
- Protecting a limb
- Avoiding being touched
- Change in attitude / personality
- Weight gain
- Less alert
- Sleeping more, and,
- Crunching (“crepitus”) sound when the joint is flexed
Your holistic veterinarian, acupressure practitioner, and canine nutritionist are a few good resources that can help your dog to be as comfortable as possible for as long as possible. Because there are many different types of canine arthritis, consulting professionals who can help zero-in on the exact joint problem is the best strategy for your dog’s comfort.
You can start helping your dog with a simple acupressure session. The chart below includes acupressure points that are known to ease pain and supply nourishment to the joints. Place the soft tip of your thumb of one hand on a point and rest your other hand on your dog. Count to 30 very slowly before moving to the next point. If you dog indicates any discomfort, please just move on to the next point or try the session another day. Repeat this procedure on the other side of your dog.
You can offer this acupressure session every day for 3 days, then take a day break. Then offer it again for 3 days and take another day break. See how your dog is doing. If he has improved you can take a 2-day break between 3-days of sessions. Just see how it goes and think about how much you want your dog to feel good.