Arthritis in dogs can cause discomfort and pain especially among senior dogs. Fortunately, there are several therapeutic treatments that you can try at home or even with the help of veterinarian to help ease pain and discomfort caused by arthritis. These therapeutic treatments include physical therapy exercises, acupuncture, laser treatment, hydrotherapy and massage. Massage is one of the easiest therapeutic treatments since you can learn to do it at home with the help of a vet.
Does Massage Help Dogs with Arthritis?
Canine massage therapy does not focus on the parts affected by arthritis only; instead it focuses on the whole body. Massaging a dog with arthritis will improve blood circulation therefore increase oxygenation, provide relaxation, relief pain, and improve flexibility. Holistically massaging a dog with arthritis will help with alleviating pain and discomfort especially when combined with other therapeutic treatments such as physical therapy exercises, acupuncture, laser treatment, and hydrotherapy.
Make sure you understand this therapeutic treatment before attempting it on your dog. In case you do not know this technique, it is advisable to hire an experience vet. Below are procedures to follow when massaging your dog at home.
With your canine friend lying down begin the massage session and make sure not to massage your dog’s spine directly. Always apply pressure gently on the dog’s muscles avoiding the spine.
Pay close attention to your dog’s reaction as you work your way through its muscles, at the slightest sign of discomfort or pain you should stop the massage immediately. Slowly, keep your dog relaxed and resume the process again, ensure you move your hands in a rhythm around your dog’s muscles.
A heat pack can be a great addition to offer more relief to your dog especially if its arthritis is advanced. Concentrate the heat pack around the muscles that appear to be most affected by arthritis. For dogs that are suffering from restricted mobility and appear stiff heat packs will help relief the pain and ease mobility.
A word of caution is to make sure the heat pack is not too hot and to never leave it on one spot or muscle for too long. When you are not around your dog say you are picking something else such as massaging oils you should not leave the heat pack on your dog.
Including natural oils such as CBD oil also known as hemp oil, Coconut oil, Cassia, Cinnamon and Wintergreen can increase the effectiveness of your massage session, since they are known to help relief inflammation. Make sure you dilute these oils before using them on your dog’s skin; in their undiluted form these oils can cause irritation. Alternatively, you can buy some already prepared dog massage oils and eliminate the guess work.
How Does Dog Massage Help Arthritic Dogs?
1. Improve Blood Circulation
Blood circulation is very important in the body of a dog that is suffering from any kind of disease. Improved blood circulation will ensure that the whole body gets all the nutrients it needs to function. It will also ensure that medication given to the dog reaches to its intended destination. Improved blood circulation also ensures that there is enough oxygen circulating in the body of the dog, enough oxygen in the blood will promote healthy growth and regeneration of the cells.
2. Reduce Inflammation, Joint Pain, Stiffness and Muscle Spasms
Massaging an arthritic dog will help reduce stiffness, alleviate joint pain and reduce inflammation. When you use the essential oils mentioned earlier they will help ease inflammation that have been proven to be one of the symptoms of arthritis. Alleviating these symptoms will lead to increased mobility in your arthritic dog and improved quality of life. Read this article by clicking here to learn more about different types of arthritis.
3. Combining Massage and Other Forms of Therapeutic Treatment
However, if you are just starting these therapeutic treatments on your arthritic dog, you should not subject it to all treatments options at once. The best option is to start with easy therapeutic treatments such as physical therapy exercises and massage then proceed to medium difficulty treatments such as hydrotherapy before proceeding to the more advanced techniques such as acupuncture and laser treatments which will need an expert.
You should not offer all therapeutic treatments in one session as this will exhaust your dog in the long run. Instead, you can choose to offer physical exercise therapy in the morning to deal with stiffness accumulated at night and then follow it up with massage in the evening and vice versa.
Whatever, you do make sure you consult your veterinarian as some of the treatments may need someone with experience.
You might also realize that your canine friend likes certain methods of therapeutic treatments as compared to others. In this case, offer these therapeutic treatments that your dog likes and slowly introduce the other methods.
Bottom line is combining massage with other rehabilitation or therapeutic treatment methods will help in improving your arthritic dog’s quality of life.
While arthritis has no known cure currently, you can use therapeutic treatments such as massage to help alleviate pain and discomfort and increase mobility. Combined with other therapeutic treatments such as acupuncture, hydrotherapy and physical therapy massaging your dog can help improve your dog’s quality of life. Finally, you do not have to wait until your dog is suffering from any kind or degenerative disease to offer massage services or other therapeutic treatments. Make it a routine of offering these therapeutic treatments even to your healthy dog and you may even help prevent or delay the onset of these diseases.