We have put this tips together to help you understand arthritis and your dog. If your dog could talk, being their best friend would be a lot easier. But they can't tell you that their knees stiffen up after they play for too long – or that their hips hurt when they go up or down the stairs. They rely on you to recognise signs of pain and decreased mobility and to have your veterinarian diagnose and treat the condition.
To provide the best care for your best friend, take a few minutes to learn the facts, the signs and how your dog can find relief from painful arthritis. If your dog could talk, they would thank you for it.
Know the facts about arthritis
Arthritis is a progressive, degenerative disease that involves the deterioration of joint cartilage. This condition can affect one or more joints and can lead to pain, stiffness, joint swelling, lameness and reduced mobility, all of which can result in a reduced quality of life.
As the disease progresses, there can be additional destruction of cartilage on the bone surface, and production of extra bone around the joint. If left undiagnosed and untreated, arthritis can cause irreversible damage and prevent dogs from fully participating in everyday activities such as walking, running and swimming.
That’s why it’s important for you to recognize the Signs and Symptoms of a dog’s arthritis pain, and notify us so treatment can start early.
- Arthritis is one of the most common sources of chronic pain that vets treat. It is a painful, degenerative joint disease that often results from canine hip dysplasia.
- Arthritis affects one in five adult dogs. And these are just the cases that have been diagnosed. The actual number of dogs suffering from arthritis is unknown, because many dog owners attribute the subtle changes in their pets to “old age” or “slowing down.”
- While many cases of arthritis occur in older, overweight and larger breed dogs, the disease can affect dogs of all sizes, ages and breeds.
- With the exception of joint replacement, there's no cure for degenerative joint disease and arthritis in dogs. But the pain associated with these conditions, and the stiffness and lameness they cause, can be managed.
There’s no reason for any dog to suffer from the pain of arthritis. Pain can have a tremendous impact on your dog’s quality of life. A dog that's in pain won't be as active, which can lead to weight gain, and additional stress on joints that are already sore. But when your dog feels less pain and is more comfortable, he or she will be more active, more fit, and more willing to participate in the family activities you love to do together.
Know the signs of arthritis pain
Any dog can develop arthritis, and knowing the signs and symptoms of pain will help you determine when your dog may need veterinary attention.
Could your dog have arthritis? Ask yourself these simple questions:
1. Does your dog tire easily or lag behind during long walks?
2. Does your dog limp or appear stiff after activity?
3. Is your dog reluctant to climb steps or jump up?
4. Is your dog slow to rise from a resting position?
If you answered “yes” to even one of these questions, it’s possible that your dog is suffering from painful arthritis. We recommend that ask us to examine your dog for arthritis. The sooner your dog is properly diagnosed and treated, the sooner he or she can overcome the pain and become an active member of your family again.