Labradors and arthritis: Here’s how you can make your pet feel better
Among the many breeds of dogs, people like Labradors a lot, because they are friendly, get along with family members and kids, and even assist the police with their bomb detecting skills. But these lovable dogs suffer from some health problems as well, which can be heartbreaking.
Dr Pranjal Khandare, a veterinary officer at Wiggles.in, says one of the major health issues is weak and poor joint health that leads to arthritis as they age.
What is arthritis?
“A dog’s body is made of approximately 320 bones. They are joined at different points which enable functional movements like walking, running, jumping etc. Sometimes, these joints can experience wear-and-tear due to growing age, accidents, injuries or fractures. Arthritis is an inflammation of joints. It is a painful experience that restricts their movement.
“Generally, arthritis affects senile dogs, but the symptoms can start in their younger days as well,” she says.
– Joint pain
– Stiffness in joints
– Stiffness while walking
– Difficulty in standing or sitting
– Reluctance to use the stairs or climb the bed
– Swollen and sore joints
– Loss of stamina
– Loss of interest in physical activities like walking or playing
– Aggressive behaviour when touched in the hip or joint region
– Overweight or obesity
Arthritis and Labradors
According to Dr Khandare, Labradors need a chicken and meat-rich diet. “This is necessary to fulfill their energy requirements. Sometimes pet parents can make a mistake with the number of calories consumed by them. If the calorie intake exceeds the number of calories shed, it can lead to them being overweight. With the extra weight, the joints have to bear the burden. If not taken care of, it can lead to swollen joints and arthritic pain.”
The doctor says Labradors need ample amounts of exercise in the form of walks, playtime, and swimming. “Also, maintain a monthly chart to track their weight. Regular vet visits are a must, too.”
But if your Labrador is suffering from arthritis, the remedy is in CBD oil.
CBD or cannabidiol is a chemical found in the cannabis sativa plant and is known to have wonderful pain-relieving properties. It is a common misconception that consuming or applying CBD oil on dogs will give them a ‘high’. CBD oil doesn’t contain the THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) compound that is known to give a ‘high’ like feeling, Dr Khandare explains.
How does CBD oil work?
CBD oil works as a natural pain relief therapy. It reduces the pain caused due to sore joints and arthritis. When CBD oil is massaged topically, the skin absorbs it completely. It then activates the endocannabinoid system (ECS) that is responsible for pain sensations. CBD oil interacts with the cell receptors in the muscle, skin and nerves, thereby reducing pain.
It is a natural cure, but can also help in preventing early signs of arthritis. Consult your vet about the right time to start using it for your Labrador.