Dog arthritis is a joint condition that develops over time. In human medicine, a standardized severity scale is used to assess the progress of the disease. A scale also functions as a guide for whatever combination of treatments is most effective for a certain stage of the disease. Furthermore, I have made my own dog arthritis severity grading system. It has four grades that describe different stages of dog arthritis. This article will discuss the first grade: mild or early arthritis.
Grade 1 dog arthritis refers to the early onset of the disease. Cartilage damage is still very minimal but the dog may experience some mild lameness from time to time. The dog will feel some minor pain or discomfort but the dog will instinctively hide this, which prevents the dog owner from noticing a problem.
X-Ray and Endoscopy
In grade 1 dog arthritis, osteophytes or bone spurs are yet to develop. There are no fissures in the cartilage yet either; however, a softening of the matrix will be observed.
Grade 1 dog arthritis is very hard to detect. However, when the necessary treatment is given in this stage of the disease, it will be greatly beneficial for the dog. The following treatment options should protect existing cartilage, promote new cartilage growth and minimize pain.
· Preventive surgery. This is most viable for dogs that have existing orthopedic conditions such as hip dysplasia. Surgery can also be used to treat injuries that are affecting a dog’s normal joint function.
· Weight loss. The extra pounds can add to the mechanical stresses on a dog’s joints.
· Physical therapy. In this stage there is no need for complicated machinery or techniques. All the dog needs is some regular exercise. Keeping a dog’s joints moving prevents stiffness, promotes blood circulation and helps strengthens the muscles and bones.
· Dietary supplements. Choose the right product or products by checking the ingredients contain: – D-Phenylalanine. An essential amino acid found in the breast milk of mammals. It is reputed to be a natural analgesic. – SAM-e. Also known as S-Adenosyl methionine, SAM-e is a substance produced and consumed by the liver. Studies have shown that it has analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-oxidant properties. – Low molecular weight Chondroitin. An important component of cartilage, it can suppress inflammation, inhibit cartilage-destroying agents, and promote the growth of new cartilage and the production of synovial fluid. – Glucosamine HCL. A structural component of cartilage responsible for the tissue’s spongy texture.
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