Will a Heating Pad Help with My Dog's Arthritis?
Yes, it can. What people don't realize is that arthritis isn't just a disease of the joint. The original source of the pain is within the joints. But as that dog starts to weight shift away, because the joint is painful to stand on or to push forward on, they then start using other parts of their body more than they would have done otherwise. And that can create muscle tension and muscle spasms.
How Can a Heating Pad Help?
And heat is wonderful for treating that form of discomfort. You can also use heat to try and warm up the joints that are stiff. So if your dog's been laying down or they've been asleep overnight, and you can see that they're really quite stiff in the morning, putting a heating pad over the area, say their knees or their hips, can push some heat into the tissue and allow some of the elasticity to come back so they can move more freely. So heat is wonderful.
When shouldn't you use a heating pad?
You don't want to put heat on inflamed joints. So if you are having a flareup of your dog's arthritis, and their knee feels warm, don't put heat on them. That's just not going to be pleasant at all.
For additional information about canine arthritis, check out Dr. Capon's work at Canine Arthritis Management.
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