Older Dog A Bit Stiff? A Quick Guide To Arthritis
Is your four-legged friend over the age of 9? Are they starting to slow down on walks?
As a dog owner, it’s essential to be aware of the signs of arthritis in your pup so that you can take steps to manage the condition and keep your furry friend comfortable. Arthritis is a common condition in dogs, particularly as they age, and it can cause a great deal of discomfort if left untreated.
So, in this article, you will be introduced to the signs of arthritis in dogs and the most commonly used vet treatments for this common ailment.
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is a degenerative joint disease that affects the cartilage in a dog’s joints. Over time, this cartilage can wear down, leading to painful inflammation and stiffness. This is why it is crucial to stay in regular contact with vets in Normandy Park when you have an older dog, as they may be able to spot the signs of arthritis earlier.
But what are some of the signs of this condition that you can spot at home?
Reluctance to Move
One of the most common signs of arthritis in dogs is a reluctance to move around as much as usual. If you notice that your dog seems less active or less interested in going for walks, they may be experiencing pain or discomfort in their joints. They may also struggle with specific activities, such as jumping up onto furniture or climbing stairs.
You may notice that your dog is slow to get up in the morning or seems to be limping when they first start moving around. As the day goes on, they may become more limber, but they may still experience some stiffness and discomfort. This should always be checked out by a vet.
Dogs who have arthritis may also lick or chew at their paw joints, which can be a sign that they are trying to soothe their pain. As this is a common area for arthritis, any excessive chewing should be investigated. If your dog is reluctant for you to touch their legs or paws and growls, this can be a sign of intense soreness and should be reported to their vet.
The Role of Vets
If you suspect that your dog is showing signs of arthritis, it’s important to book them with a vet for a proper diagnosis. Your vet will be able to examine your dog’s joints and determine if they are showing signs of arthritis. They may also recommend X-rays or other imaging tests to get a better look at your dog’s joints and determine the extent of the damage.
If your dog is diagnosed with arthritis, there are lots of things you can take to help them manage the condition and keep them comfortable. Your vet may prescribe pain medication or anti-inflammatory drugs to help manage your dog’s pain and reduce inflammation in their joints. You may also need to make some changes to your dog’s diet, such as increasing the number of fatty oils that they eat and altering their exercise routine to help them maintain a healthy weight and keep their joints mobile.
Physical therapy, like water therapy, massage, and acupuncture, can also help to reduce pain and inflammation in your dog’s joints. You may also need to make some modifications to your home environment to help your dog move around more efficiently, such as adding ramps or stairs to help them get up onto furniture or into the car.
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