I haven’t documented any dairy cow cases I’ve seen on farm so thought I’d write about something else I see on farms.
The valuable, hard working farm dogs and a common health issue they face, arthritis. Osteoarthritis is inflammation of the joints and is very common in older dogs; more so in working dogs due to their high level of activity and increased risks/history of injuries. Arthritis is a progressive disease i.e. it gets worse over time. The cold weather can make this condition worse. Arthritis unfortunately cannot be cured but can it be managed. Signs to watch out for include reluctance to jump on and off the bike, shorter gait, appearing stiffer and slowing down/falling behind while working and/or excessively licking the joints. Working dogs generally don’t show pain and continue to work even when they experience significant discomfort. Hence, any signs of pain should be addressed promptly. Treatment to manage arthritis can involve anti-inflammatories, pentosan injections, joint supplements, or special joint diets. Some older dogs may benefit from wearing a jacket/coat during winter to keep them warm.
So, if your dog is showing any signs or osteoarthritis/pain, please have a chat with one of the vets.
Priyanka Kulkarni BVSc, MVS