Treatments For Arthritis, Hip & Leg Problems
It’s excruciating to see your Yorkie in pain. When you take a pet into your home you promise to love and care for it the best you can for as long as you can, but arthritis and joint pain can strike at any time and leave you feeling helpless.
Prescription NSAID pain relievers certainly have their place, but they can be tough on your Yorkie’s liver and steroids come with a host of side effects. Luckily there are natural steps you can take to keep your dog comfortable.
Here are 10 drug-free ways to help your dog live pain-free. Be sure to consult your veterinarian before making any major changes to your dog’s diet, exercise or medication routine.
Related: 12 Best Dog Breath Fresheners
1. Maintain A Healthy Weight
The more extra weight your dog carries, the more strain his or her joints suffer. If your dog is overweight or obese, now is the time to start a weight loss regimen. If your arthritic dog is already at a healthy weight, be sure to maintain it with a healthy diet and gentle exercise.
2. Keep Moving
If your dog is diagnosed with arthritis you will definitely want to revamp his or her exercise routine, but staying active is important for joint health. Instead of long, vigorous walks or strenuous play sessions, try frequent shorter walks and short play sessions indoors on soft carpet.
3. Add Anti-Inflammatory Foods to Your Dog’s Diet
Certain foods are said to have natural anti-inflammatory properties. If your veterinarian feels it is safe, you can try adding papaya, alfalfa, celery, or ginger to your dog’s diet. Another ingredient that has become very popular in recent years is turmeric for dogs, which has been shown to have incredibly strong anti-inflammatory effects.
4. Canine Acupuncture
It may seem shocking that a dog would tolerate dozens of needles being placed into his or her body, but the acupuncture trend has become quite popular in the animal world and has shown promising results for many common canine ailments, including joint pain.
5. Physical Therapy
Many veterinary hospitals and specialty centers now offer advanced services for dogs with injuries, arthritis and mobility issues. Highly trained staff members can help keep your dog’s pain at bay with techniques like hydrotherapy. They can also teach you how to provide physical therapy at home.
6. Laser Therapy
One of the newer innovations in reducing inflammation and pain in pets is low-level laser therapy. Your veterinarian will create a schedule of treatments based on your dog’s individual needs. The treatments are easy, painless and relatively quick. You can read more about the best red light therapy devices for dogs here.
7. Massage Therapy
The same massage techniques that help relieve your stiff muscles and aching joints can also benefit your arthritic pup. Many human massage therapists also work on pets and holistic veterinarians often offer this service to their clients.
8. Prevent Slipping
Hard wood and tile floors can be like mine fields for arthritic pets. Try laying down a series of throw rugs and runners to help your dog navigate the house. Keep toenails trimmed and consider friction socks to prevent slipping.
9. Provide A Supportive Orthopedic Dog Bed
An unsupportive mattress can wreak havoc on sore joints. Be sure your dog’s bed is designed for pups with arthritis. You can review our roundup of the best orthopedic beds for dogs here.
10. Glucosamine Supplements
Not all canine joint supplements are created equal. Many products only contain one active ingredient (glucosamine being the most popular) while others contain more than one. For example, this 8-in-1 canine joint supplement contains not just glucosamine, but also turmeric, green lipped mussel, MSM, chondroitin, devil’s claw, and more. It’s important to choose a joint health supplement that offers the correct therapeutic dosage for your Yorkie’s needs and is made from the highest quality ingredients.
11. Hemp Extract Supplements
In last last 5 years, many studies have been done on the effectiveness of full and broad spectrum hemp oil in relieving support an arthritic dog’s mobility. Here at iHeartDogs, we use and recommend that Cannanine brand of hemp chews available on Amazon.
Frequently Asked Questions and Yorkies and Arthritis
1. Do Yorkies Need Hip And Joint Supplements?
One of the most frequent joint conditions in small and toy dogs, like the Yorkshire Terrier, is a luxating patella. When this issue occurs, the kneecap slides out of the groove from the middle of the joint. Young puppies are often the first to encounter mild to severe lameness symptoms and discomfort before the age of two. For this reason, it’s best to start supplementing with hip, and joint supplements are soon as your veterinarian says it’s safe, usually in the first year of life.
2. What Supplements Are Good For Yorkies Arthritis?
Vitamins for pets that are healthy help speed up recuperation by lowering inflammation. Most vets advise glucosamine, fish oil, and turmeric supplements for Yorkies with hip and joint problems. To help dogs overcome pre-existing challenges, give your dogs the iHeartDogs Advanced 8-in-1 Hip and Joint Chews. It is the ideal combination of eight potent, natural ingredients that promote stronger joints, less pain, and increased activity. It is a natural painkiller that can lubricate joints, rebuild cartilage, and lower inflammation to ease your dog’s stiffness and discomfort.
3. What Can I Give My Yorkie For Joint Pain & Arthritis?
It is believed that a number of foods are inherently anti-inflammatory. If your veterinarian says it is okay, you can try putting papaya, alfalfa, celery, or ginger in your dog’s food. Another spice that has gained popularity recently is turmeric, which has been shown to have incredibly potent anti-inflammatory properties.
The aforementioned 8-in-1 canine joint supplement also contains glucosamine, as well as other ingredients, including devil’s claw, chondroitin, green-lipped mussel, turmeric, and MSM, all ready to improve your Yorkies’ comfort.
4. Is Cosequin Or Dasuquin Better For A Yorkie?
Nutramax Laboratories manufactures both of the nutritional joint supplements Cosequin and Dasuquin. These two nutritional supplements both contain sodium chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine, two substances essential for keeping healthy joints. Yet, only Cosequin has the omega-3 fatty acids that are necessary for a number of bodily functions. Dasuquin, on the other hand, contains a substance known as avocado/soybean unsaponifiables (ASU), a chemical that naturally exists in soybean oils and avocados.
The addition of the omega-3 fatty acids makes the Cosequin a better choice, although it’s often more expensive. Either option will work, especially if your dog is getting enough omega-3 fatty acids in their diet already. The only surefire method to determine which is better for your dog is to test them both out or to hear your veterinarian’s advice.
5. Do CBD Supplements Help Yorkies Arthritis & Joint Pain?
While there is no cure for arthritis as of yet, CBD can help to reduce pain and inflammation from CBD supplements. Dogs, like humans, have an endocannabinoid system, and when they take CBD oil, it helps to activate this system to work harder and reduce problems. Also, this supplement can help with whole body health with very few, if any, side effects.
Cannabidiols are a component of medical marijuana and can be used to treat arthritis in your dog. In addition to pain, CBD has shown promise in the treatment of cancer, seizures, and anxiety. The anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties of CBD are a wonderful plus. The supplement can bring comfort to your York with few if any, side effects with a proper dose twice a day.
6. Is CBD Or Glucosamine Better For Yorkies?
The simple answer is that you should feed your dog both glucosamine and CBD if you are trying to help reduce their pain and improve mobility. Glucosamine can repair and maintain joints, while CBD reduces pain and has a positive effect on the entire body. However, if you can only afford one, go with glucosamine, but it’s better to find a supplement with both of these beneficial ingredients.
7. What Are The Side Effects Of Glucosamine For Yorkies?
While most dogs will not have any side effects from glucosamine, some will if they have an allergy or sensitivity. As it’s more of a food than a supplement, dogs can take it in high quantities without negative ramifications. However, watch for stomach distress such as vomiting, gas, reduced hunger, drowsiness, or constipation. Take your Yorkie to the vet if she experiences any of these symptoms after taking glucosamine supplements.
8. Is There A Natural Remedy For Yorkies Arthritis?
Your York may experience relief from arthritis with one of the many natural therapies that are available before going to prescription medications like turmeric. Another option is comfrey, which has been proven to be successful in lowering swelling and easing discomfort. If you are experiencing inflammation or digestive tract problems, you might also try yucca. It also contains a lot of the nutrients that dogs need as an added bonus.
Omega-3 fatty acids can contribute to the lowering of inflammation, as can turmeric, comfrey, and CBD, as discussed above. These supplements, including those found in sardines, anchovies, and high-quality fish oil, can improve symptoms in dogs with osteoarthritis and maintain healthy joints.
9. Do Vets Recommend Joint Supplements For Yorkies?
There is no doubt that veterinarians recommend glucosamine for the treatment of joint problems in animals. The vast majority of dogs do not experience any negative effects from it because it is created naturally within the body, making it completely harmless. As always, consult your dog’s veterinarian to ensure that this is the option that will be most advantageous to him or her.
10. Is Glucosamine Good For Yorkies?
An organic substance called glucosamine is present in your dog’s body. It is crucial for the growth of tendons, ligaments, and joint fluid. The cartilage is freed up to conduct its duty of defending and cushioning the joints because this substance prevents bones from rubbing against one another.
The cartilage in the joints, however, deteriorates as a result of degenerative joint illnesses like osteoarthritis, which causes discomfort and inflammation in the affected joint. If they did not have access to this great natural nutrient, dogs would find it much harder to enjoy life or live pain-free lives. As it’s a substance more like a food than an addition, it’s definitely a good option for your Yorkie; they can gain all of the benefits without side effects for safe help for joints and arthritis.
11. Is It Too Late To Give My Yorkie Joint Supplements?
Although you cannot begin feeding older dogs vitamins for the purpose of prevention, you can begin doing so to help lessen signs of discomfort and suffering. Due to the increased likelihood of joint problems and arthritis in Rottweilers, joint supplements are always something that should be considered for these dogs. Think about getting an early start when you get your next pet.
12. How Do Vets Check For Arthritis In Yorkies?
If you notice that your Yorkie is suffering from arthritis, you’ll want to provide them with the care and support they need by taking them to your Veterinarian for a check-up. The vet will examine and assess their joints and review their medical history. Your Vet will use different methods to diagnose your Yorkie’s arthritis. Then they will develop a personalized treatment plan, including pain relief medications, adjustments to their daily routine, or physical therapy. Approaches Vets use when they check for Yorkie arthritis are:
- Physical Examination: Assessing joints, gait, and posture for signs of arthritis.
- Palpation: Gently manipulating joints to detect discomfort, warmth, or swelling.
- X-rays (Radiography): Revealing bone and joint changes and structures.
- Blood Tests: Ruling out other causes of joint pain.
- Joint Aspiration: Analyzing joint fluid for inflammation or infection.
- Range of Motion Testing: Evaluating joint flexibility.
- Pain Assessment: Evaluating pain-related behavior.
- Orthopedic Evaluation: Comprehensive assessment, including advanced imaging if needed.
Treatment options may include medications, physical therapy, weight management, joint supplements, and lifestyle modifications to improve your dog’s comfort and quality of life.
13. What Does An Arthritis Flare Up Look Like In A Yorkie?
Arthritis is a chronic condition, and flare-ups vary in intensity and duration. It can manifest in different ways. Signs include:
- Limping or Lameness: Favoring affected limbs and difficulty bearing weight.
- Stiffness: Especially noticeable after resting or in the morning.
- Decreased Activity: Reluctance to engage in play or exercise.
- Swelling or Heat: Joints appearing swollen, warm, or painful.
- Licking or Chewing: Attempting to alleviate discomfort by these behaviors.
- Change in Behavior: Possible irritability, agitation, or withdrawal.
- Difficulty Climbing or Jumping: Pain during these activities.
- Vocalization: Yelping, whining, or whimpering when pain is intense.
- Loss of Appetite: Eating less due to pain, potentially leading to weight loss.
- Altered Gait: Changes in walking pattern or stride.
14. Does Walking Help Arthritis In Yorkies?
Walking can help Yorkies with arthritis, but should be done in moderation. Before starting an exercise routine for an arthritic Yorkie, ask your Vet to explain the appropriate level of activity that’s best for your Yorkie.
- Exercise: Engage in regular, low-impact walking to maintain joint mobility, muscle strength, and weight management.
- Mental Stimulation: Walking provides mental engagement, which is vital for your Yorkie’s overall health.
- Improved Circulation: Walking enhances blood circulation, reducing joint stiffness.
Tips for walking with an arthritic Yorkie:
- Keep walks short and gradually increase duration.
- Choose soft surfaces like grass or dirt trails.
- Maintain a slow pace, letting your Yorkie set the speed.
- Begin with a gentle warm-up and end with a cool-down.
- Allow rest breaks if your dog shows signs of fatigue or discomfort.
Pay close attention to your dog’s body language during the walk. If you notice signs of pain, limping, or reluctance to walk, end the walk and consult your Vet.
15. Does CBD Help Yorkies with Arthritis?
CBD, known for its potential to manage pain and inflammation, has been used by some Yorkie owners for arthritis. Consult your Vet and choose high-quality CBD products. Find the right dosage with your Vet’s help, and monitor your dog for side effects. CBD should complement other arthritis treatments.
16. How Do You Treat Arthritis In Yorkies?
Treating arthritis in Yorkies typically involves a combination of approaches:
- Medications: Your Vet may prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or pain relievers to manage pain and inflammation from arthritis.
- Weight Management: Maintaining a healthy weight is important for your Yorkie to reduce stress on their joints. Your Vet can recommend a diet and exercise plan.
- Physical Therapy: Physical therapy exercises and massage can improve joint mobility and muscle strength.
- Joint Supplements: Supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin may help support joint health and reduce symptoms.
- Pain Management: Cold or heat therapy, as well as orthopedic bedding, can provide comfort.
- Surgery: In severe cases, surgical options like joint replacement may be considered.
16. Does Massage Help Arthritis In Yorkies?
Massages are a wonderful way to comfort your beloved Yorkie with arthritis. These sessions can work wonders by increasing blood flow, easing muscle tension, boosting joint flexibility, reducing pain, and adding comfort for your furry friend. Consult with your Vet or an animal massage therapist so that massage techniques used are appropriate for your dog’s condition. They can offer advice on how to perform these massages with all the love and care your Yorkie deserves.
17. Can A Yorkie Recover From Arthritis?
Arthritis in Yorkies is a chronic condition that cannot be fully cured. But, it can be managed effectively with the proper care. While complete recovery may not be possible, disease management can significantly improve your Yorkie’s quality of life, reduce pain and discomfort, and help them lead an active life despite arthritis.
18. What Causes Arthritis Flare Ups In Yorkies?
Arthritis flare-ups in Yorkies can be triggered by cold weather, overexertion, changes in barometric pressure, weight issues, infections, dietary changes, lack of exercise, medication issues, stress, and aging. To reduce these flare-ups, a plan involving medication, diet, controlled exercise, weight management, and stress reduction is used.
19. Can I Treat My Yorkies Arthritis At Home?
To achieve the most comfort and mobility for your Yorkie while managing their arthritis at home, consult with your Veterinarian to create a treatment plan. Home care may include giving joint supplements, maintaining a healthy weight through diet and exercise, keeping your Yorkie warm, providing comfortable bedding, and creating a low-stress atmosphere. Your Vet will consider your Yorkie’s needs and the severity of their arthritis. A collaborative approach ensures the best care for your cherished companion.
20. How Long Should I Let My Yorkie Live With Arthritis?
This depends on their overall health, the severity of their arthritis, and their response to treatment. Arthritis is a manageable condition, and many dogs can lead long and happy lives with proper arthritis care. Your Vet will focus on pain management, joint support, and your dog’s overall well-being. Your Yorkie can enjoy a good life despite arthritis when they get proper treatment. Your Veterinarian can reevaluate your dog’s condition as needed and make adjustments to their treatment plan.
21. What Age Do Yorkies Get Arthritis?
Arthritis in Yorkies, like in other dog breeds, becomes more common as they age. Yorkies are considered senior dogs around 7 to 10 years of age, and arthritis is more likely to develop in their later years. Some Yorkies may show signs of arthritis earlier, depending on genetics and activity level.
22. What Are The Symptoms Of Stage 4 Arthritis In Yorkies?
Dog arthritis doesn’t have stages in the way it’s classified in humans. Advanced arthritis in Yorkies may exhibit severe symptoms that indicate joint deterioration. Signs of advanced arthritis in dogs include:
Limping: Dogs with advanced arthritis may have a pronounced limp or difficulty putting weight on either leg.
Stiffness: They may struggle to stand up or lay down and show stiffness after rest.
Pain: Dogs with advanced arthritis may vocalize or show signs of pain when moving when attempting to climb stairs or jump.
Muscle Atrophy: Yorkies can develop muscle atrophy in the affected limb due to decreased use.
Joint Deformities: In severe cases, arthritis can lead to visible joint deformities, like swelling or changes in the joint’s shape.
Reluctance to Move: Dogs may be less active, and reluctant to engage in play, or go for walks due to arthritis discomfort.
If you suspect your Yorkie is suffering from arthritis, gentle pain management techniques, medications, or physical therapy may help them. You can make your beloved Yorkie more comfortable and improve their life with the right arthritis treatment from your Veterinarian.
23 How Can I Prevent My Yorkie From Getting Arthritis?
Because numerous health conditions have an effect on your Yorkies’ joints, you should give them a joint supplement to naturally strengthen and protect their joints. Providing your dog with the right food is another critical action you can take to stop, or at least slow, the damage being done to his joints. Remember that obese dogs are more likely to have joint or arthritic issues. You might have to cut back on the amount of food you provide them as a result.
Regardless of the kind of dog food you choose, talk to your veterinarian about moving to a lower-calorie diet. Another suggestion is to let your dog engage in activities that are too strenuous for his joints. Instead of determining how excited your dog is, follow your veterinarian’s advice for activity.
Early arthritis diagnosis is the best way to prevent the disease. Be out for any signs of discomfort, trouble moving, or strange behavior. Consult your veterinarian about arthritis prevention and develop a plan for managing it over time if you see any symptoms. Together with your veterinarian, create a strategy for managing arthritis over time while focusing on prevention.