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  • Dog Walking With Difficulty

    Common Symptoms of Canine Arthritis

    Did you know, as with human beings, your dog too can suffer from arthritis? Arthritis affects one in five dogs in the U.S. and is one of the common causes of chronic pain in dogs. The condition usually displays itself in older dogs, however, other factors also play a part.

    As with the human condition, arthritis is the inflammation of the joints. The cartilage within a joint deteriorates and loses fluid, making it less smooth and causing the bones in the joint to rub together. This rubbing can be uncomfortable or painful and could damage the cartilage even more. The most commonly affected areas in dogs are the hip, elbows, knees, and shoulders.

    Risk Factors of Canine Arthritis

    It is true that as they age any dog can develop arthritis. There are however some risk factors that may predispose your pet to the condition:

    • Large or giant breeds, such as German Shepherd Dogs, and Great Danes
    • Obesity
    • Age, particularly middle-age to senior dogs
    • Injuries such as fractures or ligament tears
    • Prior diagnosis of hip or elbow dysplasia
    • Infections that affect the joints
    • Improper nutrition
    • Genetics

    Symptoms of Arthritis in your Dog

    It is so unfortunate that our fur babies cannot tell us when they are not well. If your energetic good boy suddenly appears to be slowing down, then arthritis may be the reason. Look for these signs of arthritis:

    • Reluctance to walk, climb stairs, jump or play – Your dog is not enthusiastic to do the activities he once loved.
    • Limping/lameness – They may put extra weight on one leg to take the pressure off the joint which is affected. When their gait is off you may notice your dog doing a “bunny hop” instead of walking normally.
    • Weight Gain – Spending more time sleeping and resting and reluctance to play and exercise will lead to weight gain. This will exacerbate the arthritis. Proper weight management and nutrition is essential.
    • Pain or stiffness when getting up or down – Your dog may be stiff when getting up from a lying position. You may also notice they may have difficulty climbing stairs and getting in and out of the car.
    • Loss of appetite – Depending on the severity of the pain, they may stop eating.
    • Yelping when touched – The affected joints become sore to the touch, so your dog may yelp when touched or petted.
    • A change in personality (aggression when usually good-natured) – When we are in pain we become irritable. The same is true for a dog. They will become irritable and may even snap or bite. This usually occurs whilst playing or handling as the pain may increase.
    • Licking of the affected joints – Your dog may continually lick the painful joint. This will then cause patches of bald spots from saliva staining.

    Get the Help Your Pet Needs Right Now

    Arthritis is a manageable condition. If you notice any symptomatic or behavioral changes in your dog, Canine Arthritis it is best to seek help. There are certain exercises and activities that make the condition worse, so try to adjust your activities accordingly. An early diagnosis can save they from enduring unnecessary pain and discomfort.

    • Arthritis is usually the sequel to an underlying joint malformation.
    • It is a painful condition, but this pain is often poorly recognized and understood.
    • Once developed, it is irreversible. It requires control, as there is sadly no cure.
    • Treatment relies on effective pain control, weight loss, and appropriate exercise.
    • Treatments aimed at supporting muscle condition are useful.

    If you are in Simi Valley, Moorpark, Thousand Oaks, Chatsworth, and areas nearby Ventura County, book an appointment at Dr. Ron’s Animal Hospital. We have been providing high-quality pet care in Simi Valley for over 19 years.

    Although we are a full care facility, our main goal is to keep your pet healthy with preventative examinations. Our comprehensive wellness exam includes a complete evaluation by a licensed veterinarian professional. Combined with a thorough history, can often detect potential health problems before they become apparent and have negative effects on the wellbeing of your pet. Although there is no cure for arthritis, the pain can be managed and you can ensure your dog is happy and living its best life. Call us today!

    posted on April 27, 2022 at 9:46 pm by Doctor Ron