Meg Marshall- We're here today with Dr. Ray Ramirez with the Peoria Area Veterinary Association to talk about something that can affect a lot of different breeds and that is arthritis. So what are some of the symptoms that we'll see that may indicate that there is arthritis?
Dr. Ramirez - Good question Meg. There's a lot of things that we'll see but the most common thing we'll see in our dogs is arthritis of the hips. So it's going to relate to what you think of with the difficulty dogs have of getting up and down. And in the winter time and fall as the weather gets a little bit cooler that can get exaggerate. Similar to you and I when we have arthritis. The cold weather or real humid days can be more of a problem. So some of the things you may see with your pet is they may a little bit of difficulty getting up and down assuming that's in the hips. Sometimes we can see arthritis in the shoulder and the elbow- not quite as common but we still can see that. And again you see that kind of stiffness, that difficulty getting up and down.
Meg Marshall - Okay so if we've established that our dogs are experiencing these symptoms, what are some things we can do to help alleviate their pain?
Dr. Ramirez - Good question. The most helpful thing, we try to take, I should back up, we try to take a whole body approach. We don't want to just jump in right away with drugs or surgery. They most helpful thing is actually weight loss. Making sure your pet is at a good weight for its size. Miss Ella here who you can see, is loving her treats, but a good rule of thumb is right behind the front leg, you should be able to feel each rib pretty easily. If you don't, that's a little layer of insulation that they could probably do without. And the less weight they carry, the less discomfort the less problems on their joints. And so that's probably the number one thing you can do. Second thing there's some different joint supplements like ... That again a lot of people take as well. That can be very helpful for our pets as well.
There's also some very nice dog specific aspirins that have come on the market in the last 10-12 years and there's a variety of ones, again that are very similar to the people ones you think of Aleve and Tylenol; things like that. There's dog specific ones - A lot of different ones. And this is where consulting with your veterinarian is most helpful because they can find out with that breed of pet you have there might be other things going on in your pet's body, which might be the best choice to do. Then there's also some different natural methods, some of the acupuncture which can be beneficial. So there's a couple of things like that.
Meg Marshall - Okay so make sure you do contact your vet if you do see they are suffering from some symptoms of arthritis.
Dr. Ramirez - Exactly.
Meg Marshall - Thank you so much Dr. Ramirez for helping us out today.