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Spondylosis in dogs

Spondylosis in Dogs

Spondylosis in dogs is said to be a reasonably common condition of the bones that is seen among the older dogs.

However this condition of spondylosis in dogs does not have any recognized cure. The main aim of the vet at this point in time is to try and make the old dog as comfortable as possible. Spondylosis is known as that disease which causes the dog’s vertebrae to begin to grow together. Spondylosis is found to be a progressive condition and can affect a dog’s life in a fairly major way. However most spondylosis in dogs occurs in the later years of their lives and very few have very long to live and thus do not have enough time to suffer. However, most dogs are found to be in considerable pain once the condition is actually diagnosed. The first indication that the vet or the owner has of the spondylosis in dogs is the signs of them limping. Some other signs of spondylosis in dogs are the dog exhibiting some indications of dog back pain. However most of these dogs are still able to continue a reasonably healthy and happy life once the pain that goes with the spondylosis is resolved. Spondylosis in dogs is usually a result of hereditary factors or due to repeated stress from certain activities on the dog’s joints. Some other spondylosis in dogs causes are poor nutrition, high stress, immune system imbalances and environmental factors.

Some dogs may even get spondylosis due to lack of adequate exercise.

This spondylosis in dogs can however lead to further problems and complications occurring in certain cases. These problems usually take place among those dogs that are nearing the end of their own lifespan. The first and foremost major complication that occurs in these dogs is known as ankylosis of the dog’s spinal column. This complication simply means that all the bones of the dog’s spinal column have fused or joined together. When this condition develops, it can lead to the dog being in a lot of pain. It also causes the dog to feel plenty of difficulty in its day to day life while moving around, sleeping or walking. The dog will also experience a huge amount of pain if it makes any quick or large movements or when it is jumping or climbing stairs. The other rare complication that develops when a dog is suffering from spondylosis is nerve compression. This rare complication can lead to the dog suffering from nerve damage. Spondylosis in dogs symptoms will include stiffness in the dog’s movements especially in the case of the large dog breeds.

This degenerative disease can also cause the dog to suffer from problems of swelling around its joints and redness or puffiness developing around the dog’s spina or hip areas. These concerns are very serious and the dog should be taken to a vet immediately. In some cases the dog may not be able to climb stairs or inclines of any kind due the stiffness and pain it is experiencing. Spondylosis in dogs causes them to wince when playing, rising or walking.

Spondylosis in Dogs Treatment

For spondylosis in dogs treatment will usually entail therapy and pain killers. This disease gets worse as the dog gets older. The main key to treating this condition is early detection of the situation. This can actually help in reducing some of the pain and discomfort the dog may be feeling. In fact in some of the cases, with adequate care and therapy the dog’s spondylosis case may not progress beyond its early stages. Some of the main requirements that vets or any animal doctors will stimulate towards treating this spondylosis in dogs problem is to make an obese animal shed some weight. Dogs that are generally overweight may end up suffering a lot more pain than the slimmer dogs. The additional weight can end up putting a lot of pressure or stress on the dog’s joints and also on its spinal column. Thus the main step in this case is to cut back on the fatty snacks and instead feed one’s dog some high fiber and low fat foods instead. Another key to fighting spondylosis in dogs is to ensure that they get plenty of exercise. Getting in regular exercise is one of the best ways to control the progression of spondylosis in one’s pets. Vets actually recommend that the dog be taken for at least 20 minutes of walk or runs on a regular basis. However one should ensure that they do not push their pet too much and do not over exert the animal. If the dog is finding 20 minutes of walking time too difficult then let the dog walk at a slower pace. This will allow the dog to build up its strength in a slow and gradual manner. Another good spondylosis in dog’s treatment is to try and ensure that one’s dog is getting adequate water along with its food intake. Water therapy has been used by many specialists and vets in the recent years. This treatment is not conclusive but has offered some fairly promising results.

Swimming in the water as a form of exercise is beneficial to dogs and will not put too much strain on the animal’s spine or on its joints. Swimming also allows the dog to build up its muscles especially around the spine area which with time helps in easing the pain that accompanies a case of spondylosis. Lakes or ponds are perfect for one’s dog to get its workout in especially if they are the bigger breed. The smaller ones can be put into a sink or into a bath tub. Keeping the dog in a warmed up state is also good for its condition. This can be applied directly over the spine area of the dog. Moist heat is especially beneficial and can prove to be a great comfort for the dog. Try filling hot water bottles with the warmed up water and applying it on the dog’s stiff joints. This should help in treating moderate to mild pain and help in reducing its intensity. This procedure can be done at least twice in a day for about 15 minutes at a time. One can even try using warm a warm moist towel for this benefit. Another good method of treating this joint pain is by gently massaging the area. One can start by simply kneading the sore spots over the dog’s back. This should be done in circular, small motions. After some days one can start extending the massage area to cover the area which has the painful joints. Not all the animals like a massage so one should first try and relax the dog before starting the massage procedure. This will allow the dog to relax and enjoy the benefits of the massage. If the dog is sleeping out in the garden moving him to the warmer temperatures of one’s home might also help in easing the pain. One can even buy a dog bed which can be heated up. This can help in giving the dog some relief from the pain. One can also try putting a sweater on the dog and also helping it to climb stairs and move around.

  Submitted on September 24, 2010  

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