5 Signs Your Dog Has Arthritis: Symptoms and Treatments

Arthritis is a common ailment amongst household dogs and especially for those on the larger size. Identifying arthritis in dogs is not as easy as it is in humans because our pets cannot give us a point-by-point list of conditions or symptoms they might be experiencing. Because of this, you will need to know the common signs to help you pinpoint if your dog does have arthritis and how you can help.

The major signs of arthritis in dogs are:

  1. Lagging behind on walks: If your dog is lagging behind, limping, or taking more breaks while on your usual walks, then chances are that there is something bothering your dog. 
  2. Having trouble getting up: If you observe that your dog is having trouble getting up from a sitting position or after lying down, then your dog might have an issue with its joints.
  3. Gnawing or licking joints: If you observe that your dog is licking its joints or gnawing at a certain area frequently, then it is a clear indication that your dog is either in pain or is feeling restless due to a joint problem.
  4. Irritability and temperamental behavior: If your dog is reacting weirdly to touch, snapping at you or nipping at you for touching certain areas of his or her body - then you need to take your pup for a checkup. Pain or restlessness in the joints can cause your pet to behave strangely or to display signs of irritability, so don’t be too alarmed if this happens. 
  5. Tiredness and low mobility: If your pet is having trouble or avoiding normal activities like going up the stairs or jumping and instead is being lazy or lounging around most of the day - then there might be an issue. This is only applicable if your pet used to be active and suddenly isn’t.

If your dog has any of these symptoms or more than one occurring at the same time - then it is time that you take him or her for a wellness examination. Their change in behavior might not be arthritis, but there is a high probability. The veterinarian will be able to determine the final diagnosis and will advise on what you can do to make your beloved pet more comfortable.

If it’s determined that your dog does have arthritis, then the first thing the doctor will do is advise you to change your pup’s lifestyle. This will include a good diet that is monitored by eating certain foods and avoiding others. You will also be advised that your dog will need to get regular exercise. Furthermore, the doctor might prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) to reduce the inflammation and pain in the joints. The veterinarian might also prescribe steroids and Glycosaminoglycans if it is necessary. You may want to consider giving your pet injectable medication like cortisone or Visco-supplementation.

Physiotherapy, massage therapy, and chiropractic treatment are natural treatment options for canines suffering from arthritis. Additional treatment options include water therapy or hydrotherapy, acupuncture, laser therapy, ultrasound therapy, stem cell therapy, and magnetic therapy. If the condition is serious, then the veterinarian might recommend surgery.

At Pampered Pets USA, we know you consider your pet to be part of the family and want nothing but the best for them. We are here to provide you with accurate and updated information that will help you give your furry friend a healthy and happy life.

Author: Michelle Anastasio-Festi
Photo Courtesy: River Landings Animal Clinic