Dogs are an invaluable asset, but it can be easy to underestimate the amount of love and care that they require. When it comes to looking after your dog, you must go above and beyond to ensure that they are fully content and healthy, which includes ensuring that you know the signs of arthritis in a dog.
Arthritis is a disease of the joints which causes inflammation of body tissues. Pain, swelling, and loss of motion are common symptoms of an arthritic joint. It usually occurs in just one joint at a time, so you might be wondering: Is your dog having symptoms of arthritis? This can be tough to determine and there are many different variables that could lead to this conclusion, but we’re going to take a look at some ways you can tell.
Arthritis is a common form of inflammatory disease in dogs, as well as humans. The term arthritis refers to any disorder of the joint, which causes pain and loss of mobility. Some types of arthritis are hereditary and can be passed on from parent to offspring; others occur later in life due to an injury or infection.
The most common signs of arthritis in a dog include:
Painful joints when touched or moved
Restricted movement in one or more joints
Difficulty rising from sitting position
Stiffness upon waking up from sleep
Arthritis is a common condition in dogs, affecting up to one in five dogs over the age of 11. It’s caused by inflammation, stiffness or pain in your dog’s joints and can lead to problems with mobility.
If you’re worried about your dog’s health, here are some signs that there might be something wrong with their joints:
- Changes in behavior
- Limping or difficulty walking
- Sensitivity to touch around the affected area
- Loosening of joints (if your dog is old enough for this symptom)
Signs Of Arthritis In A Dog
Arthritis is a medical term used for any chronic condition that causes damage to the cartilage or joints. Although cats can be affected, arthritis is most commonly found in dogs—both young and old.
Arthritis typically appears in the stifle (knee), hip, elbow, shoulder, carpus (wrist), or hock (ankle); it can also occur in the spine. Most cases arise in dogs with an inherited orthopedic disease such as hip dysplasia, or those who have suffered some sort of injury to a joint.
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease. It occurs when the cartilage in the joint is damaged from wear and tear, hip dysplasia or other congenital joint abnormalities, ruptured cruciate ligaments, trauma or other joint conditions. It is a progressive disease. Early diagnosis and treatment is crucial to slow the progression of the disease and establish a treatment plan with your veterinarian.
Symptoms of Arthritis
• Stiffness-especially in the morning or after first getting up
• Difficulty in climbing stairs
• Trouble jumping up onto the bed or couch
• Evidence of pain when touched
• Reluctance to run and play normally
• Continual licking of a specific joint
Diagnosing arthritis and osteoarthritis is done by taking X-rays, in which it is not uncommon to see show bone spurs and joint space narrowing or other signs of degeneration.
There is no cure for degenerative joint disease, but there are many treatments that can help improve comfort and quality of life.
Because overweight animals are much more likely to experience symptoms due to the added strain placed on the joints and discs of the vertebrae, weight reduction and maintenance of a lean body weight is extremely important in helping ease pain and symptoms.
Some treatment plans include physical therapy, weight management, prescription medications, joint supplements, acupuncture, and massage.