Rheumatoid Arthritis is a condition that targets the joints of your pet which causes the dog to have difficulties in walking, running, and your dog generally starts avoiding walks. Running becomes a problem, normal walks feel strange as your dog is reluctant to walk for long who seems to appear a bit dull.
What exactly is this condition, how to manifest it, its signs and symptoms, treatment protocol, and managemental care that should be concentrated upon are well explained in the blog given below. So, spare some time to protect your dog from this dreadful condition.
Dr. Hemlata Talluri, Veterinarian
HOW COMMON IS THIS CONDITION?
It is commonly seen in small breeds of dogs, generally between 5 and 6 years of age. However, it depends upon individuality as well and any breed dog can be affected.
WHAT IS RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS?
Rheumatoid arthritis is an immune-mediated disease. What immune-mediated disease actually means is – ‘When your immune system starts to react against self-body cells’.
The immune system of our body acts as a defense system against foreign particles such as bacteria, viruses dust particles, etc. Immune System cells will attack such foreign particles and kill it and then expel it out of the body. However, in some diseases such as this condition of rheumatoid arthritis, the immune system becomes a bit dysfunctional and starts misinterpreting and recognizing some of its own body protein for foreign protein.
Immune System produces a substance called ANTIBODY which basically is Anti (Against) Body (Foreign Body) and fights with ANTIGEN (foreign protein).
The body reacts to the antigen by producing antibodies that bind the antigen and on binding, they form Immune complexes called ANTIGEN-ANTIBODY COMPLEX, which in this condition gets deposited in the joints.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
This deposited Antigen-Antibody complex triggers an inflammatory response in the joints. Inflammation is a normal process through which a body reacts to something which is abnormal or foreign to our body.
Due to this inflammation, there is
- Pain in the joints
- Difficulty in moving the joints
- Difficulty to move legs
- Generalized Lameness
WATCH OUT FOR THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS –
- Generally, this condition affects many joints at a time, especially the legs joint.
- Lameness – the animal is seen as lame, doesn’t wish to walk or move with difficulty. Lameness could be severe to very mild depending upon the severity of the disease and disease progression.
- Stiffness in legs
- Unwillingness to walk for a long time due to pain
- Pain in joints
- Swelling in joints in some conditions
- Loss of muscle mass in that affected legs (Muscle Atrophy)
- Also, loss of appetite fever can be seen.
DIAGNOSTIC FEATURES –
If you notice your dog having walking issues, is a bit tired and dull, you should take your pet to the vet who would suggest certain tests to find out if it is Rheumatoid Arthritis or if something else is at play here.
For the diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis,
- An X-Ray would be taken to rule out fractures, any bone deformities.
- An X-Ray is also indicative of joint getting worn out/ mild to a severe loss of joint bones due to immune-mediated rheumatoid arthritis.
- Blood test – to rule out any infections which can affect the mobility of the dog
A special blood test to check out for “Rheumatoid Factor” can be done too.
However, this factor is not that sensitive as even dogs with no rheumatoid arthritis can have this factor shown up in the test.
- Synovial Fluid Test – Synovial Fluid is present in the joints of all animals including humans as this fluid acts as a shock absorbent, which maintains the proper movement of the joints and helps in locomotion.
The synovial fluid is analyzed and it shows characteristic typical changes.
Cells involved in inflammation are present in large numbers, which is indicative of an inflammation process occurring The fluid is usually cloudy in appearance and is of a thinner consistency than normal in such cases.
- Biopsy of tissue can also aid in diagnostics.
WHAT IS THE TREATMENT PROTOCOL FOR RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS?
As this condition is non – curable but it is DEFINITELY manageable by medical treatment.
We take steps to minimize the effects of the immune system so the disease doesn’t progress and your pet has a good to the fair prognostic outcome.
- STRICT MEDICAL CARE – as suggested by the vet Immunosuppressive drugs such as corticosteroids (Prednisone, etc.) or NSAID’s are recommended.
Homeopathic treatment by our product INFLASULE is a great remedy to help manage this condition.
INFLASULE for PETS is an excellent remedy in the case of Inflammation of joints, lameness, shifting pain with swelling (LYME DISEASE) lameness, Fever and Anorexia may be associated. INFLAMMATION OF EYES. Due to INJURY or other causes. INFLASULE for PETS gives the best results when your Pet is having joint pain with swelling like Arthritis.
Dosage: 20 drops three times a day or as directed by the doctor.
Contraindication: No known contraindication
- WEIGHT MANAGEMENT –
Joints help in proper movement of legs as we all know, our body weight does play an important role in the movement. How?
The weight of the body is borne by the joints and an excess weight causes more strain on the joints. If your dog suffers from a Rheumatoid Arthritis problem, the joint is already tired and a bit sick as well. Due to excessive weight, the joints get more tired and strained out causing more problems.
To ensure that your pet is not overweight as it may add to the burden or stress of joints and the joint movements can be hampered, you can consult your vet for weight management protocols, feed exercises, etc which can ensure your pet is fit and fine.
- SUPPORTIVE CARE –
Swimming, gentle massages, walking slowly, leg/joint support belts are great ways to stimulate your pet’s joints and aid in movement.
We need to stimulate the joints and not let our pets be dull as it may take a mental toll on them. Health does not only mean physical health but also mental health. And for that, take your pets for walks although short, take them for swimming to stimulate the legs and joints.
Physiotherapy is also one of the ways through gentle massages and movements the joint can be very well managed along with apt and proper medical treatment.
This disease is a unique one, and through proper care and management, one can manage this disease and give your pet the best life that they truly deserve.
Do check out our product INFLASULE for Pets. This INFLASULE Formulation developed by a renowned veterinarian of India after long consultation with homeopaths and trials of different medicine in field conditions for years.
There’s nothing to worry about as this condition is easily manageable with prompt treatment and supportive care. Here’s to our pets, let’s run again!
HAPPY PET, FOR A HAPPY YOU.