Osteoporosis is a bone disease that affects millions of people throughout the world, but it is also a disease that can affect dogs as well, although it tends to occur very rarely. When a dog does suffer from osteoporosis it can be very debilitating, though, so it is important to know the signs of its presence, as well as what you have to do in order to help relieve and heal your dog if it is possible. The disease produces similar effects in dogs that it does in human beings, and the main factor that contributes to all of the other problems that result from the disease is the loss of bone density that characterizes the disease. The bone loss that occurs in dogs that have developed osteoporosis can lead to all sorts of additional problems, the worst being a significant increase in the risk of your dog fracturing bones. In addition, dog osteoporosis can leave your dog suffering from chronic pain in various areas throughout his body, making it very difficult for him to get around. Although there are surgeries that can correct certain effects of osteoporosis, it is important to consider the fact that the disease will still be present, so ongoing measures must be taken in order to protect your dog from further affects that can be caused by the disease as well.
Defining the exact causes of dog osteoporosis is difficult, as the disease itself is very complicated. In most cases, though, there tends to be some sort of prior occurrence that leads to the development of osteoporosis in dogs. A certain form of osteoporosis in dogs can be caused by disuse of bones as well, either due to immobilization of the specific bone or some other similar type of problem. And of course, proper nutrition, or lack thereof, can also potentially play a major role in the development of dog osteoporosis too, as in addition to calcium there are other nutrients that are required on a regular basis in order to maintain bone health, both in humans as well as in dogs. Because defining the cause of the disease is so difficult, it is just as hard to try to attempt to avoid it. In other words, there really is not much you can do about osteoporosis until after you already find out that your dog has osteoporosis. And finding out that your dog has the disease is not all that simple either.
Since canine osteoporosis is usually not initially characterized by an onslaught of severe pain, your dog could have the disease for a significant amount of time before you even find out about it. In the early stages of the disease bone loss in your dog will be minimal, and the bone loss itself is not the aspect of the disease that is painful, but rather the later results of the loss of bone density. For this reason, many dog owners do not even realize that the bone loss is occurring until something happens to their dog, namely a fracture or a similar occurrence. It is important to have your dog seen by an experienced veterinarian if this occurs, as they will perform x-rays as the first step towards determining if you dog is suffering from osteoporosis. Other than your dog fracturing a bone, there are very few ways to discover that your dog has osteoporosis, although if your dog has to have x-rays taken for any other reason the disease could be discovered accidently. The important thing is to begin managing the disease right away after finding out that your dog has it. There are a number of steps that can be taken in order to provide your dog with relief from osteoporosis, and some treatments can even reverse the effects of the disease that are already present. A few treatments in particular are commonly used in dogs that suffer from this often debilitating disease.
Pain Relievers – Dogs that suffer from long-term effects of osteoporosis may experience ongoing pain, which can at times be pretty severe. You will notice that your dog will not move around as much if he is suffering from the disease, and he will be much less playful than before being affected. Pain caused by such diseases can sometimes be unbearable and this is not something you want to see your dog go through. Pain relievers can help ease the pain and keep your dog up and running, which will also help manage the disease, as dogs suffering from osteoporosis should get regular exercise in order to prevent further deterioration of their health. Canine pain medications can be obtained from a local veterinarian or they can sometimes be ordered online as well. However you obtain them, one thing is for sure, and that is that you will surely notice a difference in your dog’s behavior when he is no longer in excruciating pain.
Bone Restoration – The second way to treat your dog as a way to help manage his osteoporosis is by trying to restore some of the lost bone density. There are certain supplements that you can give to your dog that are designed to aid bone growth. Of course calcium is an important element in any living things diet, as this is the number one nutrient to promote bone growth. But there are also other nutrients that are very important in this respect as well, such as vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids. When supplementing these nutrients for your dog, though, it is important to provide supplements designed specifically for dogs. It is also important to make sure that your dog is getting the right amount of the supplements for his size. Another option for helping to restore bone density in your dog is by giving him collagen supplements as well. Fish collagen for dogs helps to maintain the strength of joints, tendons, and bones. If you give your dog collagen the bones he does have will be stronger and his osteoporosis may not be quite as debilitating.
Determining the presence of diseases such as osteoporosis in dogs is not an easy task by any means, but once you know that there is something there it is not really any more difficult to treat them than it is to treat humans. And if you pay attention to a few warning signs you should be able to discover the presence of disease early on and start treating it quickly, because you don’t want to see your beloved dog go through the pain of osteoporosis any more than you would want to deal with it yourself.