Dog Arthritis is something that you might not even realize is happening to your dog. However, as your dog ages it is important for you to keep an eye out for the signs and symptoms of arthritis.
What is the cause of Arthritis in Dogs?
Arthritis in humans and dog arthritis is pretty much the same. It will normally be caused by either, old age, an injury, from a genetic factor or due to repetitive motion and rubbing.
The root cause of arthritis is due to the cartilage between bones at the joints breaking down. When this happens instead of the bones sliding over one another they rub and this causes friction. This causes the pain and stiffness known as arthritis.
What are the Symptoms of dog arthritis?
If cartilage is lost, the bones of the joint can begin to rub together, grinding against one another. Bones can chip off, and this will cause even greater pain. The resulting pain and loss of mobility lowers the quality of life for dogs and, eventually, they may find it difficult to perform even the most basic movements.
Typically what will be noticed first are an increased weight gain, sleeping more, less interest in playing, and a change in attitude or alertness.
These are common dog arthritis symptoms:
Stiffness. If you find that your dog experiences difficulty in moving freely;
Reluctance to climb stairs and jump into cars. When your dog no longer wants to perform ordinary activities, it could mean that he or she anticipates pain and will seek to avoid it;
Lethargic and unwilling to move in cold and damp weather as dog arthritis is aggravated by these conditions;
Whimpering or snapping when the joint is touched is a strong indicator of pain;
Rising slowly from a sitting or lying down position may well be a sign of stiff joints.
How to Manage arthritis in dogs
Keeping excess body weigh to a minimum is a very important aspect of managing arthritis in dogs. Often, simply reducing the dogs weight to a reasonable level will effect noticeable changes in the dogs activity and mobility.
Exercise is important to entice the dog to maintain and improve joint movement and flexibility.
Soft, cushioned sleeping surfaces that keep the dog comfortable and warm may aid in lessening arthritic discomfort.