When To Euthanize A Dog With Arthritis?
No one wants to see their pet in pain. When people are left with no choice except to euthanize their dog, they feel depressed.
Dogs often face the disease known as Arthritis, which completely shatters them because a point comes when they aren’t even able to move properly as they are in such deep pain.
No owner would want to see their pet in such pain, so they go to get their dogs euthanized. But the question is whether you should really euthanize your dog?
Your pet’s veterinarian can give the best answer to this question who would know and understand your pet’s condition. What if your pet is not even that sick, but since you assumed it is in pain, you went towards the euthanasia route? This is extremely wrong, and therefore we should understand that our vet can better know our dog’s actual state and give a proper verdict on our dog’s condition.
Usually, Arthritis is different. Well, this means that each time a specific dog is diagnosed with Arthritis, it may not mean that the dog should be sentenced to death.
Which kind of dogs are most likely to experience Arthritis?
Before buying dogs, one should know the problems of Arthritis and which species are common victims of this disease. Dogs like bulldogs, Labradors, Golden retrievers, German shepherds, and Rottweilers are more likely to expose themselves to Arthritis. These dogs are usually overweight, and their muscles often get swollen and cause them extreme pain.
Arthritis is most common in older dogs, dogs who are older than 7. Young dogs might be in pain because of diabetes, fungal infections, or osteochondrosis (these diseases are commonly confused with Arthritis.) A dog owner should know when their dog is in pain and is suffering from Arthritis.
Many of the dogs who are diagnosed with arthritis stop playing and show sluggish behavior.
Some of the evident symptoms are leg and joint stiffness, which means that your dog might lay down for hours after just a small walk. Weight loss is one of the most major symptoms of a dog having Arthritis. Their muscles tend to weaken, making them vulnerable to weight loss and excess mass deposit in their waists. Moreover, your dog won’t move around, play or be jolly as moving just a single muscle will cause him too much pain.
Stages of Arthritis
Arthritis can be divided into 4 stages, 4th being the most severe.
Stage 1 can be described as the ‘maybe’ stage. At this stage, your dog won’t show very prominent symptoms. Your dog would only have luxating patellas or a torn ligament. This stage can be considered a warning signal that your dog may or may not get affected by the disease, but it’s best to get it checked by a proper and professional vet.
Stage 2 can be described as the stage where you feel that your dog is not behaving the same as before. At this stage, it’s better to get proper X-rays of your dogs by a vet. Although still at this point, your dog won’t show major symptoms of Arthritis.
Next comes stage 3. This stage can also be called an ‘Alarming’ stage. Your dog would now sleep more, move around slowly, become lazy, and won’t get excited to do things it previously used to do with great excitement. At this point, a dog owner shouldn’t be in a relaxing position and consider this as normal behavior as this stage means that the disease has almost entered your pet and can get severe.
The 4 and most severe stage is when your dog shows 100% symptoms like little or no movement at all. This stage is also known as the end-stage because there is a very slight chance that your dog can be saved. The silver lining in all these stages is that your dog can still be saved.
How to save your dog from Arthritis?
When informed that their dog is diagnosed with Arthritis, many people just believe that now it’s the end of their canine friend’s life.
This is not true, as dogs can be treated through a proper medical course.
There are several ways to treat a dog’s Arthritis, and sometimes owners don’t even need proper medical support because even a basic daily exercise routine can save their dog from this deadly disease.
Below listed are some ways you can save your dog from Arthritis. Although previously mentioned that moving their muscles would be painful for dogs, light walks and running can help their sore muscles heal. A proper vet would be able to give you the best exercise plan for your dog.
People can also improve their dog’s health by giving them acids such as omega 3, which are found in fish and fish oil. Everyone can easily purchase them from any pharmacy or pet shop. These acids would help your dog’s joints to heal, plus they would also keep your dog’s immune system better.
The third method involves cranberries and strawberries. You simply have to give these berries as treats to your dog. Surprisingly, these won’t be just treats for them, as they would also provide them with crucial vitamins such as vitamin C and E. These vitamins would lessen the severity of the disease.
Sodium ascorbate powder is beneficial for both humans and dogs because it contains high amounts of vitamin C. Vitamin C’s role in a dog would be very beneficial as it repairs all the damaged body tissues. As in Arthritis, tissues are damaged and swollen, giving your dog ascorbate powder would be one of the best remedies.
Apart from these remedies, if dog owners don’t want to get in the hassle, they simply can just take their dog out for a small walk. While they believe that the movement of their dog’s muscle would cause further pain, research shows that continuous movement of a dog’s muscle may lead it towards the healing process.
Some dogs might not even show courage to go downstairs or simply walk. For this kind of case, people sometimes make small steps for their dog to take so that it causes them less pain and improves their health. Now the question arises what if our dog is still in severe pain? Even after trying out these remedies, our dog’s health isn’t improving, so what to do now?
When to say goodbye to your beloved pet?
Well, at this point, we now go back to stage4, which is also known as the end-stage. Owners have to step on their love and finally euthanize their dog. This process is not easy as people who love their dogs cannot bear the loss of their beloved pet.
Who would have imagined that the pet, who is known to be a man’s best friend, would have to go through such a disease which would, in the end, take its life?
Dogs and even other pets don’t have the ability to talk to their owners; hence it is our responsibility to understand their pain and the problems they are going through.
If people continue to ignore the fact that their dog can no longer survive and keep on living with the hope that one day, their dog will heal itself and become the same as it was a few months back, then they are just doing injustice to their pet, as the dog won’t say but it would in the end whimper, scream and even cry with pain.
These signs should be enough for a dog owner to know that it is time to say goodbye to their old dog.
Is euthanizing your dog always the bitter option?
Believe it or not, people who are assuming that euthanizing their dog would be an injustice to their dog are wrong. In fact, studies have shown that at a certain point, when your pet is no longer happy, killing it would make it feel more satisfied than the miserable and painstaking life it was living for the past few months.
Putting down your dog is very hard as a dog owner, who was with you for some years, becomes a part of your family, and is treated as a family member. Kids usually miss their dogs, and it affects their mental health the most.
In the end, going down the route of euthanizing is the best option for dogs who are experiencing stage 4 arthritis. Remember that your favorite pet is now in a better place where it is not experiencing pain.
To ease a person’s sorrow for the loss of their beloved dog, people tend to bury their dog in a grave near their house, so whenever they pass by it, they always remember their lovable dog and how it used to be their favorite.
So that’s how dog owners must analyze the situation in which their dog is diagnosed with Arthritis and decide whether to help it heal or step forward and put their dog down.