1. KNOW THE BREED
Pure breed dogs are prone to hip dysplasia (German Shepherd, Labrador, golden retriever and pit bull), patella luxation and cruciate ligament tear (toy breed), spinal disc herniation (dachshunds and toy breed).
2. AVOID OBESITY
One of the most common factor for orthopedic injuries is obesity. This factor exacerbate sprain injuries in normal patients and animals with dysplastic joints. The end result of overloading the joint is faster progression of arthritis (bone spurs) and chronic pain.
3. CONTROLLED ACTIVITY
Rough playing with other dogs and fetching activity are discouraged due to an increased incidence of ACL (knee ligament) tears. Small breed dogs should not be allowed to jump on / off furnitures due to the high risk of bone fractures, ligament and spinal injuries. Ramps and decreasing the intensity of exercise are the solution.
4. ENVIRONMENT CHANGES
Slippery surfaces, flat of stairs and trucks (car) are very dangerous for geriatric patients due to the risk of exacerbating the arthritis and damaging tendons and ligaments. Rugs, ramps and gaits are the solution.