Proactive Arthritis Prevention?

Hi again B-experts. I'm once more seeking your learned advice!

This forum is helping me realize just how proactive we have to be when it comes to our Basenji's health. As a first-time dog mom, I assumed our local vet would be more forthcoming with advice and ideas, but that's not the case…So, here's the situation:

Noel is almost 5 years old. She was hit by a car last year and her right front leg was broken. She had an excellent orthopedic surgeon who did his best to repair the joint. There are a couple pins in it. She's good now. She does have a limp - it's not too pronounced unless she gets too fatigued - but she will almost certainly develop arthritis in the joint. Plus there's a possibility that her left front leg will develop problems, too, because she overworks it to make up for the weak one.

Any suggestions for 1) a proactive approach to prevent or, at least, slow down arthritis and 2) a healthy way to encourage Noel to use her weak leg more? Right now, she's taking glucosamine and a daily NSAID.

Thanks ahead of time.

@Ann:

Hi again B-experts. I'm once more seeking your learned advice!

This forum is helping me realize just how proactive we have to be when it comes to our Basenji's health. As a first-time dog mom, I assumed our local vet would be more forthcoming with advice and ideas, but that's not the case…So, here's the situation:

Noel is almost 5 years old. She was hit by a car last year and her right front leg was broken. She had an excellent orthopedic surgeon who did his best to repair the joint. There are a couple pins in it. She's good now. She does have a limp - it's not too pronounced unless she gets too fatigued - but she will almost certainly develop arthritis in the joint. Plus there's a possibility that her left front leg will develop problems, too, because she overworks it to make up for the weak one.

Any suggestions for 1) a proactive approach to prevent or, at least, slow down arthritis and 2) a healthy way to encourage Noel to use her weak leg more? Right now, she's taking glucosamine and a daily NSAID.

Thanks ahead of time.

My Maggii broke her front leg at 5 months.. she lived her entire life with a plate… never had a lame day... was a show champion and a field champion... I never did anything special for her... but then again, she was never lame. The best way I know to "use" the leg without stress.... would be to swim her...

Thanks for the encouraging news about Maggie. Makes me feel less fatalistic! I'll look into the swimming.

Ann it might also help to get a doggie heated bed. Really warm helps them to move better when they get up. Even if they sleep with you it would be nice for them during the day.

Rita Jean

other than swimming, you may want to try to lunge her like a horse with the bad leg on the inside. I think this would force her to use it. Maybe uneven ground? Stairs?

I give my pups Knox Nutrajoint with Glucosamine daily.

@Rita:

Ann it might also help to get a doggie heated bed. Really warm helps them to move better when they get up. Even if they sleep with you it would be nice for them during the day.

Rita Jean

Good idea. The weather is just now turning cooler and she's definitely feeling it in the morning. There are many heated beds listed on the web. If you know of a particularly good one, let me know! Thanks.

@agilebasenji:

other than swimming, you may want to try to lunge her like a horse with the bad leg on the inside. I think this would force her to use it. Maybe uneven ground? Stairs? I give my pups Knox Nutrajoint with Glucosamine daily.

More good advice. I'll check out the Nutrajoint ingredients (have to avoid shellfish). She uses the stairs quite a bit, rather gingerly in the morning, but sometimes she runs up and down them like a mad hound. She spends most of her walks on/over/around uneven ground, but we could make a point of working it into her routine more directly. I have no idea about the horse lunge thing, but will check it out online and/or check with my brother-in-law the "horseman."

Swimming was my first thought as well. I also recalled a post from WilysMom when Wily was going through therapy to regain leg strength and make Wily use all his legs equally, and she was advised to walk Wily in sand. (Wilys accident and injuries were totally different but it made sense to me. Walk in a medium that keeps the dog a little off balance so all legs are used, and one is not favored.)

You could also try using glucosamine treats once a day or so as a preventative.

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