Get Outside with Your Dog for National Take a Walk in the Park Day
Experts say a walk in the park can literally help slow the effects of canine osteoarthritis
From the LifeMinute.TV Team
March 26, 2020
Monday is National Take a Walk in the Park Day and if you have a four-legged family member, do your dog – and yourself – some good by getting a little fresh air while practicing social distancing. Walking your dog has multiple benefits, it not only helps keep their weight down and their joints healthy, but experts say it provides the opportunity to identify the early signs of canine osteoarthritis (OA), which studies show affects one in five dogs over the age of one.
“Canine osteoarthritis or OA is a chronic, progressive disease that affects dogs’ joints. Essentially, it leads to breakdown of the cartilage over time, which eventually can lead to some bone-on-bone. It’s also going to cause chronic pain and inflammation,” says David Dycus, DVM, MS, CCRP, Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Surgeons- Small Animal Orthopedic Surgeon, Veterinary Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Group (VOSM) Annapolis Junction, MD.
OA, unfortunately, doesn’t discriminate. Lindsey Nichols, Territory Manager for American Regent Animal Health, tells us, “Osteoarthritis can actually impact any dog – large or small. Typically, larger breeds such as German shepherds, Labrador retrievers and golden retrievers are among the most likely to suffer from canine OA.”
The good news is that osteoarthritis is very manageable over the long-term if identified and addressed in its early stages. Fortunately, they say walking can help. “There’s sort of this persona that if a dog has osteoarthritis they shouldn’t be active. In fact, walking is the best form of daily exercise. That’s going to help our joints stay healthy, minimize arthritic changes, and also help maintain a lean body weight while at the same time promoting great joint range of motion,” says Dr. Dycus.
Clues your pooch may be developing OA? Dr. Dycus says, “Your furry friend that used to love to jump up on the sofa next to you, may be a little reluctant to do that. Or maybe they’re not going up and down the stairs as briskly. Or they get up and they’re a bit stiff and sore and it takes them a few minutes to get going. If you’re out being active with your dog, instead of your dog being right beside you walking or just in front they’re actually lagging behind a little bit.”
Nichols adds, “…your dog is showing signs of osteoarthritis. Your veterinarian may recommend light exercise like walking, nutritional management, weight management or other lifestyle adjustments like medication, such as Adequan Canine.”
She explains, “Adequan Canine is the only FDA-approved disease-modifying osteoarthritis drug (DMOAD) for dogs. It may help restore joint lubrication, relieve inflammation and renew the building blocks of healthy cartilage. It’s a prescription drug, and only your dog’s veterinarian can decide if the treatment is right for your dog. Make sure to discuss any possible side effects like hypersensitivity to Adequan Canine. Adequan Canine should not be used in dogs with known or suspected bleeding disorders and should be used with caution in dogs with kidney or liver impairment.”
Visit adequancanine.com for more information, including full prescribing information or call 1-800-458-0163 to request a copy and don’t wait till you notice the signs, talk to your vet early on about osteoarthritis, even during your first puppy visits.