How to recognize and treat dog arthritis.
Dogs, like humans, often suffer from arthritis in old age. As your dog ages, you may notice that he is slower to get up, finds it difficult to climb stairs, and no longer enjoys his walks as he once did. These are the unfortunate signs of dog arthritis.
The disease is more prevalent in some breeds, but all dogs are susceptible, with the hip and shoulder joints most often affected.
Dog Arthritis Symptoms
The most common form of canine arthritis is Osteoarthritis, which results from a breakdown of cartilage from over use. Dogs that are overweight are particularly at risk, as they put greater strain on the joints.
As your dog gets older, watch for warning signs that he is losing his full range of mobility. If he moves more slowly, struggles with stairs, or
starts to lose interest in his favorite outdoor activities, you may want to have him checked over by your vet.
If arthritis is present, the vet may prescribe medication to ease the pain and help your dog live a full life during his golden years.
Dog Arthritis: Which Dogs Are at Risk?
Most dogs will get arthritis at some point in life, but there are a number of contributing factors that will make matters worse.
The main one is overeating and lack of exercise. Dogs that are obese are at great risk due to the extra stresses being placed on joints and cartilage.
If your dog is overweight, especially if he is a “senior”, I would strongly recommend putting him on a diet, and introducing a regular exercise routine.
The other big contributor to canine arthritis is breed. Pure bred dogs are generally more susceptible than mixed breed dogs, while large and giant breeds are more likely to suffer than smaller breeds. This is because their greater body mass puts more strain on their joints.
Breeds with unusual body shapes, like the Dachshund, are also known to suffer problems, as the uneven distribution of weight puts greater stress on their hips and shoulders.
Dog Arthritis Prevention
You’ll seldom be able to avoid the effects of arthritis completely, but there are ways in which you can greatly reduce its impact.
Regular exercise and a good diet will most certainly reduce the effects.
It also pays to be alert for signs of arthritis in your dog, as there are medications available to reduce pain and improve mobility.
Dog Arthritis is painful and debilitating, so be sure to address it at the first sign of any symptoms.