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Natural Awakenings Central New Jersey

Is Your Dog a Pain in the Neck? or Just In Pain?

Arthritis is a degenerative joint disease that affects over 50% of dogs at some point in their life. We’ve been successful in prolonging the length of our companions’ lives, but with that advanced age comes joint degeneration from prolonged wear and tear.

Osteo-arthritis, or degenerative joint disease (DJD) is the breakdown of the smooth cartilage in the joint that results in bare bone rubbing against bare bone. This results in DJD: lost cartilage, remodeling of bone surface, and subsequent stiffness, inflammation and pain. Common areas of arthritis in the dog are hips, knees, back, elbows and wrists. How can you tell if your dog is suffering from DJD? She may exhibit one or more of the following:

  • Decreased physical activity
  • Stiffness after sleeping or prolonged laying down, difficulty rising
  • Lameness/uneven gait, or favoring a certain joint, with limping or hobbling
  • Lagging behind on walks, reluctance to walk, run or play
  • Difficulty going up or down stairs, reluctance with jumping into car or onto a couch
  • Difficulty in urinating or defecating, possibly with ‘accidents’ in the house
  • Sudden whimpers or barks during play or exercise
New advances in veterinary medicine have made it possible to offer many options for the management of DJD. To keep Fido fluid and fit as he ages, remember these points:
  • Weight control - keep him lean!
  • Daily anti-inflammatory supplements & pain management
  • Movement - Provide daily, low-impact, low-to-moderate intensity walks
  • Treatments with joint lubricating injections of Adequan
  • Soft, warm bedding
  • Treatments with deep-warming, cell-stimulating therapy laser
The most modern and perhaps most effective tool against arthritis is the therapy laser. Like its bigger brother, the surgical laser, the therapy laser uses light energy to do its work. This progressive treatment tool is used by human orthopedists, physical therapists and all major league sports teams. Therapy laser delivers diffuse photo-energetic light to penetrate deep tissues. Light energy can reach sore joints, ligaments, tendons and muscles, and also reduce inflammation and block pain receptors. It aids tissue repair, increases blood flow and accelerates new cell growth. It inhibits scar tissue formation and improves nerve function.

The therapy laser is non-invasive and requires no prior preparation or sedation. It can also be for many other applications: skin and ear infections, itchy skin irritated by allergies, post-operative pain relief, and to accelerate healing.

Contact Bernardsville Animal Hospital to explore the applicability of laser therapy for your pet, and an initial complimentary demonstration. 41 Morristown Rd. Bernardsville. 908-766-0041. BernardsvilleAnimalHospital.com.

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