Strategies for Protecting Dogs’ Joints

Dogs pic

Dr. Joel Todd Leroy Prince has been practicing veterinary medicine for nearly 30 years. Board-certified in small animal care, Dr. Joel Todd Leroy Prince maintains a particular focus on orthopedic care.

Dogs need their joints to stay healthy and whole so that they can run and jump without pain or hindrance, but the structures and the tissues that protect them can degrade with time, just like those in humans. Dog owners can help to counteract this process by making sure that their pets get plenty of exercise, particularly in their formative years (provided that this exercise is not so forceful that the dog is subject to injury).

Owners must also ensure that their dogs get all of the nutrients that they need to keep their joints strong. These nutrients occur naturally in a raw diet that contains bone matter, but most commercial dog foods today do not fall into this category. This being the case, supplements of glucosamine and hyaluronic acid can help to keep joints lubricated, while chondroitin supplements can support the repair of crucial cartilage.

Even with supplements, dogs need nutritious food in the correct quantities to prevent obesity, which can strain joints. If joints do become damaged, however, owners should seek treatment for their pets immediately to prevent worsening of the condition in both the short and the long term. This involves not only veterinary care but also adapting the environment, including the introduction of pet stairs and ramps if necessary, so that the dog can rest its joints as much as possible during recovery periods.


Useful Tips for Keeping Your Dogs Safe at the Dog Park

Dog Park pic
Dog Park

A member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Dr. Joel Todd Leroy Prince is a board-certified veterinarian and medical partner at the Elmhurst Animal Center in western Chicago. Dr. Joel Todd Leroy Prince leverages 25 years of experience to provide care to a wide range of companion animals, including dogs.

Dogs need to stay active in order to live happy, healthy lives, and one way that many dog owners choose to exercise their pets is through regular visits to the dog park. While dog parks can be an excellent opportunity for energetic play and socialization, owners should take steps ahead of time to best protect a pet’s health in this community setting.

Firstly, all dogs who enter a dog park should be up to date on vaccinations. The high volume of animals who visit dog parks make it easy for certain diseases to spread, such as dog flu and kennel cough. A dog that is current on vaccines is less likely to catch the more common illnesses transmitted in this setting.

To further prevent the spread of illness, owners should also bring a bowl from home to provide a dog with its own water to drink, as sharing water with sick dogs can also cause a pet to become sick. Additionally, owners should also consider using preventative tick and flea medication before bringing a pet to a dog park, as other canines may bring these parasites into the setting.

Tips for Preventing Colic in Dogs

Elmhurst Animal Care Center pic
Elmhurst Animal Care Center

Dr. Joel Todd Leroy Prince works as a small animal veterinarian at the Elmhurst Animal Care Center in Elmhurst, Illinois. A board-certified small animal vet, Dr. Joel Todd Leroy Prince is capable of treating a wide range of illnesses in dogs, cats, reptiles, and birds.

Colic, which refers to pain and discomfort in the abdomen, is a condition that can affect dogs of any age, though it is most commonly seen in puppies. While many cases of canine colic are mild, it can sometimes be fatal. Dog owners can take the steps below to help prevent colic in their canine companions.

Ensuring that a dog has a healthy, balanced diet is crucial for colic prevention. When an owner adjusts a dog’s food intake, the changes should be made slowly, usually over the course of five to seven days, so that the dog has time to adapt. It isn’t unusual for the family dog to enjoy some leftovers from the dinner table, but owners should be sure dogs aren’t getting too much greasy or sugary human food. These foods can be tricky for a dog’s digestive system to handle, which can quickly lead to colic.

Dog owners should make sure that their pets are checked for worms on a routine basis. Intestinal worms can lead to a host of digestive complications, including colic. If a dog has worms, a veterinarian can run tests and then prescribe medicines to eradicate the worms from the animal’s system.