Dog Arthritis Symptoms Every Dog Owner Should Look For
Just like us, dogs are susceptible to suffering from arthritis, especially as they get older, but unlike us, they are obviously not capable of saying, ‘Excuse me…I need you to get some joint pain relief for dogs.’ They can’t tell us if they are feeling pain or discomfort. Instead, it is your job as the dog owner to look out for dog arthritis symptoms so that you can provide prompt treatment and prevent the ailment from getting worse. All dogs may develop arthritis but the ones that are at greater risk are the large breeds and those that are in their senior years. So if you are the owner of these high-risk dogs, it would really be a good idea to familiarize yourself with the common dog arthritis symptoms so that you can give your pet the best care that you can.
The bad news about dog arthritis is that it can lead to very serious health complications like crippling and extreme pain if not treated right away. But if dealt with immediately, the symptoms can be eliminated and the dog may even be able to recover completely. For this reason, it is really crucial for you, as a dog owner, to be very vigilant so that any potential problems can be averted.
Most Common Dog Arthritis Symptoms
- Slower Movements and Lack of Energy – If your dog used to love running and playing but now prefers to just lie down on the floor for the most part of the day, then there is a strong possibility that he may be suffering from arthritis. Other similar dog arthritis symptoms are refusal to climb steps or jump up and lack of interest in activities that he used to find very entertaining.
- Aggressive Dog Behavior Problems – Because of the extreme pain that they may be suffering from, dogs with arthritis tend to be more aggressive and agitated, particularly if they are touched. They may even yelp or bite when you handle their painful joints, so you also have to be careful for your own safety.
- Loss of Appetite – Another result of the pain of arthritis is the loss of appetite of the dog. This is one of the more common dog arthritis symptoms but one that people rarely associate with arthritis. Instead of eating, the dog would rather lick his joints, in an effort to get rid of the pain in the area.
Dog arthritis symptoms become harder to identify in older dogs because as these animals mature, it is actually quite normal for them to show a decrease in energy and lack of interest in moving around. So if you see even an inkling of an arthritis symptom, it would be best to take your pet to the veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Helping Your Dog Cope with Joint Pain Symptoms
Dog arthritis is one of the most common dog joint problems that mature pets have to deal with, especially among the larger breeds. The condition is often unavoidable but fortunately, there are also several treatments that can be used to minimize the pain and help your dog conquer the illness faster.
Before you start worrying about remedies, however, you should first learn the tell-tale signs of dog arthritis so that you can immediately know when something is wrong. In the early stages of the illness, there probably won’t be any visible signs because the pain is not that significant. As the condition gets worse, you may notice your dog becoming less active during his playtime. He may start walking with a slight limp, which may get more pronounced over the next few weeks.
If you suspect that your dog may already have arthritis, try to observe his movements shortly after waking up. This is usually the time when the pain would be most intense and when any swelling, if any, would be most noticeable.
Dog Joint Pain Treatments
Once the diagnosis of dog arthritis has been confirmed, you should look for an effective joint pain treatment right away. There are plenty of commercial medications that you can use but it is the general recommendation of dog experts to use natural remedies instead, as these have been found to be not only effective but completely safe to use as well. Some of the most popular treatments include glucosamine, MSM and a number of herbal medications.
There are also some cases of dog arthritis that can be treated without the use of any medication. For instance, if the joint pains are caused by excess weight, all you have to do is help your dog lose some weight and the arthritis will go away as well.
Of course, losing weight won’t happen overnight and some pain may still remain even after the dog has trimmed down to a normal weight. In this case, you can give your dog a natural supplement to help diminish the pain while continuing to keep him on a weight loss diet.
However, if your dog’s arthritis is due to a degenerative bone problem, you will have to put him on medication as soon as the disease is diagnosed. Otherwise, the arthritis may eventually cause permanent limping or other more serious bone and joint injuries. Such kinds of dog arthritis are indicated by loss of interest in playing, going up the stairs or walking.
To find out which dog arthritis treatment will work best for your dog, you should have him examined by a vet as soon as you notice any arthritis symptoms.