5 Signs of Dog Arthritis in Pasadena, CA
Dogs can develop arthritis as they age, just like people. Your dog’s joints take wear and tear as they play, walk around, or even climb the stairs in your house. Dogs of all sizes and breeds can suffer from arthritis, but some breeds are particularly prone to this condition.
No matter what age your dog is, you need to be prepared to help them to manage arthritis pain when it happens. Some dogs can start to show symptoms even in the early stages of arthritis, while others might not let you know something is wrong until they have started to really slow down. Recognizing the warning signs of dog arthritis can help you to get your dog back to feeling their best without delay.
1. Slow to Get Up and Down
One of the first symptoms of dog arthritis is usually that your dog will have more trouble getting up and down from the floor or jumping into and out of the car. The stairs might also be a bit more of a challenge. This is because arthritis causes the joints to become less flexible while also causing pain and stiffness.
If you have noticed that your pet seems to be moving more slowly when they need to climb the stairs or get up from laying down, its’ probably time for a visit to the veterinarian to see if they have arthritis.
2. Being Unwilling to Move Fast or Run
Lots of dogs with arthritis will suddenly start to be unwilling to move very fast or to run around. This can be an early symptom of other health conditions as well, which means that you should make sure to talk to your vet if your dog has suddenly slowed down a lot when it comes to play or excitement.
If your pet is suddenly unwilling to be as active as usual, they might have arthritis that is making it hard for them to get around.
3. Crying or Whining a Lot
Dogs with arthritis can be in a lot of pain, and they might whimper or even cry out when they get up and down. This could be a sign that your dog has an injury as well, so you should make sure to get your dog to the vet to have some x-rays to see if the culprit of this behavior is arthritis or an injury.
Even if your dog is lying around and softly whimpering, this can be a sign that something is causing them pain. You should consider arthritis if your dog is no longer a puppy, and make sure that you have your vet look.
A lot of dogs with arthritis will limp. They might be able to run and play, but they could start out each morning with a hitch in their gait. As the condition advances, dogs will start to limp all the time. Some breeds are more prone to hip or elbow arthritis, in which case, the limp could be quite pronounced.
Limping might also be a sign of injury, so a trip to the vet is a good idea if your dog starts to limp consistently.
5. Reduced Happiness and Interest in Life
Some dogs that have arthritis will be very depressed by being unable to get around comfortably. Dogs with arthritis might stop eating well and be unwilling to get up to go on walks or to play. They might not appear to be limping or to be stiff, but some animals are very good at hiding their pain.
Disinterest in life can be related to some other serious illnesses as well, so making sure that you get your dog in to see the vet is a good idea if they seem depressed or are not interested in things that they normally love.
What Can the Vet Do for My Dog?
If you take your dog to the vet for these symptoms there are a few different steps they might take:
X-Rays and Exam
Your vet will take X-rays of your dog’s back and legs. They will also perform a physical to see which kinds of movements are uncomfortable for your dog and run tests to rule out other health concerns. If they diagnose your dog with arthritis, there are various treatments that you can pursue.
Your pet could be given oral chondroitin supplements, and there are also injectable joint supplements that improve joint fluid quality and can vastly improve your dog’s arthritic discomfort. Pain medication will usually be given as well, and your dog will take this medication daily to help manage discomfort.
Weight management is key, and omega-3 supplementation can also make a big impact on joint health. You will probably need to combine a variety of different treatment protocols for your pet to get the maximum results.
Water Therapy, Massage and Acupuncture Options
Some dogs can benefit from water treadmill therapy and things like massage and acupuncture as well. There are many kinds of treatment that your pet can enjoy to help them have a better quality of life with arthritis. Your vet can help you to create the right treatment plan for your needs to make sure that your pet gets back to their normal activities and comfort.
Arthritis in Dogs Has Recognizable Symptoms
Thankfully for dog owners, the signs of dog arthritis are usually quite easy to spot. You should not hesitate to take your dog to the vet if they are showing signs of being in pain or if they seem depressed. Even if arthritis is not the reason for your dog’s limp or their pain, there are various other treatments that your dog might need to help them to feel better again.
Arthritis can be managed with the help of a veterinarian, and your dog can have a good prognosis for the management of this condition. Some pets can get arthritis quite early, while others will not end up with arthritis until the final years of their life. Knowing more about this condition can help you to protect your pet from pain and discomfort and make sure they get to keep doing what they love every day.
Need to talk with a veterinarian about your dog’s arthritis symptoms? Give Altadena Pet Hospital a call at (626) 798-0738 or book an appointment online today!