How to help your arthritic dog build stronger legs
Q: Our beautiful Alsatian has suffered badly with his hips as he’s got older, and has now developed osteoarthritis. An anti-inflammatory liquid keeps him comfortable, but his legs are shakier than ever, and the vet said there was very little muscle tone left. Is there anything I can do to help him rebuild muscle tone without making his hips more painful?
A: Hydrotherapy may be the perfect way to help stimulate the rebuilding of muscles in your German Shepherd’s back legs. With an inflatable harness placed around them, dogs are placed in a deep tank and allowed to swim. This builds up muscles and is a perfect non-weight-bearing exercise for arthritic joints.
You should also consider the use of chondroprotectants such as glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, which will help to regrow healthier joint surfaces in your ageing dog.