As a loving dog owner, keeping your furry friend healthy and comfortable is crucial. However, golden years aren’t always as golden for our canine companions. One common issue that affects older dogs is canine arthritis. To better understand this condition, learn the common signs your dog may have canine arthritis so that you know what symptoms to watch out for.
What Is Canine Arthritis?
Canine arthritis, also known as osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease, is a degenerative condition affecting a dog’s joints. It causes the breakdown of cartilage, which leads to inflammation, pain, and reduced mobility.
Recognizing the Signs of Canine Arthritis
If you suspect that your dog might have arthritis, keep an eye out for the following symptoms.
1. Limping or Favoring a Leg
A noticeable change in your dog’s walking pattern might be one of the first signs of arthritis. Consistent limping or favoring one leg over the other can be a telltale sign of discomfort in a specific joint.
2. Reluctance To Jump or Climb
If your dog has always been an active climber and jumper but suddenly stops showing interest in these activities, arthritis might be the culprit. Joint pain can make it difficult or painful for dogs to climb stairs or jump onto furniture, so they may avoid doing so.
3. Stiffness or Slow Movement
Another sign of arthritis in dogs is stiffness or slow movement, mainly after long rest periods. Your dog may have difficulty standing up or appear to move in slow motion, especially during mornings or colder days.
4. Swelling or Heat Around Joints
Visibly swollen joints or those that feel warm to the touch might indicate inflammation caused by arthritis. Pay particular attention to your dog’s knees, hips, elbows, and shoulders.
5. Behavioral Changes
A dog in pain might exhibit behavioral changes such as irritability, aggression, or withdrawal. If your once happy and social dog is now growling when touched or hiding away from social interaction, you must investigate the cause.
What To Do if You Suspect Canine Arthritis
If you recognize any of the common signs that your dog may have canine arthritis, consult your veterinarian as soon as possible. They can perform a thorough examination, offer a definitive diagnosis, and provide appropriate treatment options to help you manage and treat canine arthritis.
As a responsible dog owner, recognizing the early signs of canine arthritis is essential to ensure your pet’s well-being. Early detection can lead to better management and treatment options for this chronic condition, so keep a watchful eye on your furry companion and seek veterinary advice if you notice any of these signs.