Arthritis in Dogs: Symptoms and Prevention
Is your dog having difficulty walking and jumping?
If so, one of the most common reasons is arthritis.
Arthritis in dogs is a common disease, and we can say that the pain and discomfort in both are the same.
Why do dogs suffer from arthritis?
As dogs grow old, their joints become weak which is why they couldn’t bear the weight of their body.
In arthritis, the cartilage in the bones decreases. The synovial fluid can no longer act as a cushion, so the movement of bones becomes less smooth.
Some other factors also cause arthritis in dogs. These include genetic disease, injury, cancer, or immune disease.
Arthritis can affect any joint in the body. Yet, the commonly affected ones are the knees, hips, elbows, and shoulders.
Signs of arthritis in dogs
Many new owners might be wondering, “how to diagnose arthritis in dogs?”
Arthritis is an internal health issue. Yet, you can notice some changes in your dog’s behavior.
Is he’s no longer interested in playing with you? Is he walking too slow than usual?
“Arthritis often causes very subtle changes in your dog’s demeanour, which means it can go unnoticed for some time. It’s very rare for dogs to yelp in discomfort- most will carry on like nothing is wrong.
Signs of stiffness, especially after rest, are common, as is a change in gait. You may notice your dog ‘slowing down’, or limping slightly.
In reality, it’s safest to assume your dog has arthritis once they reach their senior years, and work with your vet to make things better for them,” says Dr. Joanna Woodnutt MRCVS who is on the advisory board for We’re All About Pets.
If you notice these problems, you should invest some time monitoring his condition or visit a vet to rule out the presence of arthritis.
To help you assess your dog’s health, here are the symptoms of arthritis in dogs.
Difficulty in moving and running are the noticeable signs of arthritis in dogs. You may notice that he cannot jump on the stairs nor perform an exercise as the joints will start to ache.
If the dog is suffering from pain, you will see an unusual change in its behavior. Most dogs don’t like getting bothered when in pain. Yet, some dogs might start to stay closer to you in such a situation. It all depends on the dog’s nature.
If he starts to spend time alone and does not follow you around the house as before, it is a clear sign that your dog is not feeling well.
Yelping when touched
Another symptom of arthritis in dogs is yelping when touched. You might notice that your fellow starts to yelp with pain even when you cuddle it. It can also make the dog aggressive.
To help you assess as to which area of his body is affected, touch him gently and check how he responds.
Arthritis also causes lethargy or loss of stamina in dogs. The dog starts to stay alone and sits in a corner instead of jumping around the house. His stamina loses to the extent that it seems sick.
As this sign is noticeable, it is best to determine the reason as soon as possible.
Arthritis in dogs can also cause them to limp. It will start walking on one leg because the other aches. It usually happens when arthritis affects one leg. If it affects the spine, the dog will experience lameness in both legs.
How to prevent arthritis in dogs?
Once you are sure that your best friend has arthritis, you must find a remedy.
Because, unfortunately, arthritis has no cure.
So, how do you prevent arthritis in dogs?
Dr. Jo continues, “One of the most important things you can do to prevent arthritis is to keep your dog slim. Obesity puts extra pressure through the joints, as well as increases the inflammatory compounds in the body. Even if your dog isn’t showing signs of arthritis, getting their weight and body condition regularly checked by a vet means you can spot- and treat!- any weight changes early,”
If your dog already has arthritis, the best option is to take the dog to the vet. If you don’t take it seriously, the pain will worsen. Also, the condition will become more difficult to treat.
The vet will do a physical examination by moving the joints and determining the exact area of pain. Then, he will suggest exercises and recommend some medicines for arthritis in dogs.
If your dog’s case is severe, he will have to undergo a pharmaceutical or therapeutic laser treatment.
Although all joint supplements are effective, don’t forget to ask the vet first.
Effective Home Remedies
Several home remedies can help treat arthritis in dogs. Also, providing a comfortable environment for your dog can help ease the pain.
The best way to treat arthritis in dogs is regular exercise. If the dog has early arthritis, some activities like swimming can help. But, strenuous exercises can cause severe pain and make the muscles swell.
So, the best idea is to consult a vet for the exercise schedule.
You can also get best dog ramps to help your dog get around easier to their favorite places.
A gentle massage on the joints can also help relieve the pain. It also stimulates the blood flow in stiff muscles. You can either do the massage yourself or ask a canine massage therapist.
Arthritis in dogs is a very painful condition.
Taking it to the vet should be your preference, besides regular exercise, supplementation, and muscle massages.
That way, you can immediately alleviate his pain and find a great medication that will help him recuperate.