‘There was a time when the diagnosis of osteoarthritis meant the beginning of progressive incapacity for out canine companions. However, in the past two decades, new scientific advances on several fronts have dramatically changed the likelihood of the inevitable, unstoppable decline to one of hope, continued activity, and pain-free living.’
~ The Pet Lovers Guide to Canine Arthritis and Joint Problems 2006
This statement still holds and the future looks ever better. The resources and our is continuously diversifying and improving.
Once the signs of arthritis are detected, investigated and confirmed, there are many options for pain control and slowing the disease. By working with your vet to confirm the diagnosis of arthritis, then identifying the chronic pain signs your dog expresses, you can use different medicines, supplements, lifestyle changes, or complementary therapies, with the assurance you are in control, and your dog is benefiting.
Unfortunately, arthritis will progress, and eventually pain control will fail. When the dog’s quality of life comes into question the owner has to decide when it is time to allow their dog a peaceful passing.
There is no way to predict when this point will come. Many variables affect the course of the disease, such as weight, diet, genetics, lifestyle, exercise and home environment. Keeping in regular contact with your vet will guide you. Preparing yourself for this decision is challenging, and shouldn’t be regarded lightly.
We strongly advocate the work of the The Pet Loss Vet, the Blue Cross Pet Bereavement Society, Living with Pet Bereavement and EASE animals. These are vital sources of support and understanding for owners having to decide whether their dog’s quality of life is no longer sufficient.