This is Scout in his happier days before arthritis temporarily took his mobility away.
Hi, my name’s Sarah. I’ve got a nine year old German Shepherd called Scout. I wanted to share my story of how a neighborly visit cured Scout’s joint pain. With so many dogs getting arthritis these days, I hope my story can help others to know what to do.
Your dog may have joint pain without you even knowing
Does your dog suffer from joint pain?
It can be impossible to tell until it gets so bad they can barely walk.
It took me a while to realize what was wrong with poor old Scout. He used to be such a hyper and strong dog. We’d go for hour long walks that would leave me exhausted, while he’d still be tugging on the leash begging me to go just a little bit further.
Well, a few months ago I noticed he’d started shaking and was having trouble walking. He’d given up chasing sticks and playing fetch, but he would still chew on his bone from time to time. However, at times, Scout didn’t seem to have the strength to move.
I was clueless at what was wrong with him, so I took him down to the vet for a checkup.
1 in 5 dogs now suffer from joint pain
The vet felt around his joints and Scout’s yelps instantly told him what the problem was. The vet took off his glasses and then broke the news to me: Poor Scout had arthritis.
He said that these days it is becoming a widespread issue for pets, with 1 in 5 dogs expected to suffer from it. And it’s not just old dogs with aged joints who are suffering. Young dogs are getting it, too, and vets often can’t spot it until it’s too late.
The vet then gave me some tips, which I furiously scribbled down, on how to relieve Scout’s pain. However, the vet also warned me not to get my hopes up. Scout wasn’t a young pup anymore, and arthritis can just be a natural part of aging.
Would Scout ever run again?
I was deeply upset. The thought of Scout never running
around the dog park ever again broke my heart.
I knew that Scout was getting older, but he still seemed far too young to be suffering from such awful joint pain.
When we got home I patted Scout’s head, looked into his deep, loving eyes and vowed I would do everything I could to help him get better.
This is what I tried:
- Cutting back on processed kibble and switching to a high protein diet
- Massaging his joints with heated pads every evening
- Getting a whirlpool bath for him to exercise in without the impact of walking on the sidewalk
- Taking him for acupuncture (that must have been a strange experience for him)
- Putting rugs on the floor to make it easier to walk on
- Keeping his nails clipped
- Getting an orthopedic bed that’s softer for him to sleep on
These steps may have helped relieve his pain, but from what I could see, his arthritis was getting worse by the day.
What else could I do?
Scout looked at her, hoping she’d magic the pain away
One day the doorbell rang. Once upon a time this would have sent Scout scurrying in excitement to see who it was, but not anymore.
At the door was our neighbor, Lindsey, returning a coffee
grinder she’d borrowed from me a few months ago. Lindsey
had expected to see Scout jumping up to say hello and was puzzled when she was not met with his kisses. She turned to
me and asked what was the matter?
I explained how Scout’s arthritis had got so bad that he now spent his days lying on his bed feeling miserable. Concerned, Lindsey asked if she could see him.
When Scout saw Lindsey he lifted his head and wagged his tail, but other than that, he barely moved. Lindsey then leaned down and felt his joints. Scout didn’t yelp this time. He just looked up at her sadly as though he was silently wishing Lindsey could magic the pain away.
Unfortunately, Lindsey didn’t have magic powers. And after she left, all I could do was sit and stroke Scout wishing there was some way I could help.
A strange bag with three bottles
The next day the doorbell rang again. It was Lindsey holding up a bag. She passed it to me saying, “Give Scout one of these every day for the next few months and fingers crossed it will relieve his pain.”
Puzzled, I looked in the bag. Inside were three plastic bottles. They were supplements for joint pain. I’ll be honest, any hope I’d felt then vanished.
I’ve always thought supplements are little better than magic beans. Any benefits they held were all in the mind (although that can be a powerful thing). But having tried everything else, I thought ‘what they heck, it’s worth a shot.’
Last chance saloon
I actually forgot to give them to Scout for a couple of days. After Lindsey had left, I shoved them in a kitchen cabinet without even thinking.
However, when I found them again I thought of how upset Lindsey would be if I didn’t at least try. So I unscrewed the bottle and held one out to Scout. He gulped it down and actually seemed to like it, so I started giving them to him with his breakfast.
Now, it took at least six weeks before I noticed any difference. By this stage, I was halfway through the second bottle and had already given up hope.
But Scout’s condition had started to change.
Gradually, he seemed to be getting more active. He’d started walking around the house more, instead of lying in his bed all day.
I didn’t want to get my hopes up, but I did start to wonder whether his joints were beginning to heal.
Joints need nutrition to repair themselves
The big change came when the doorbell rang one day. Scout barked, got up from his bed, and hurried to the door.
It was Lindsey again checking in to see how Scout was doing.
Seeing him jumping up to say hello was all the proof she needed that the supplements had worked.
Lindsey was delighted, but she wasn’t surprised. She said that dogs are no different than humans when it comes to their joints. By nourishing their ligaments and cartilage with key nutrients they can start to repair themselves.
Lindsey advised me to keep giving him the joint support supplements to help keep his arthritis at bay so his joints could keep repairing themselves.
Given time, the body can heal itself
I haven’t stopped thanking Lindsey for her help ever since.
I hope I can repay the favor someday. In the meantime, I hope this article will help other dog owners know what to do if their beloved pet ever gets arthritis.
Even if your dog is a young pup you may still want to consider giving them a puppy formulated joint supplement. Until we work out what’s causing so many pets to get arthritis, it’s a good idea to ensure they’re getting the essential nutrients that may be missing from their daily diet.
It just makes sense that if you feed their joints with the right nutrients they can repair themselves and get stronger. Just remember, you need to be patient. If your dog has severe arthritis like poor Scout, it make take a couple of months before you notice any improvement.
The supplements I give Scout are Vets Preferred Advanced Joint Support (the ones Lindsey gave me).
While there are lots of supplements to choose from, VetsPreferred supplements are vet formulated, so you know it has all the nutrients dogs need for healthy joints at any age.
Disclaimer – These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified healthcare professional. This is a fictional story for illustrative purposes and any resemblance to real persons is coincidental.