Like human beings, dogs along with other mammals too suffer from arthritis, particularly when they are aging. Younger dogs can also suffer from arthritic changes which can be painful and uncomfortable for the dog. This pain is caused by different signs and symptoms of arthritis and being aware of those signs can help you access early treatment and recovery.
- Limping on the legs: This is the first sign of arthritis when you see your dog limp on one or more of his legs. Under certain circumstances, the limp is seen to be in its severe state when the dog first rises and then it gradually becomes unnoticeable when the dog warms up.
- Difficulty in moving: The dog may be reluctant in moving or taking part in its favorite activities. It could be something like playing in the backyard or getting inside the car or going up and down the stairs. If this is the case with your dog, then you should not ignore it and look for medical assistance.
- Discomfort in the spinal region: Arthritic alterations may not only occur in the legs of the dog, but also in the several parts of its body. These alterations may result in abnormal posture, sore and swelling of the neck or lameness in the hind legs.
- Tiredness and fatigue: You may have known your dog to be very active, but these days, you see it become tired too easily. For your dogs, this could mean that the walks have shortened and even painful. When plagued by these conditions, your dog would want to spend most of its time resting and sleeping.
- Easily irritated: Arthritic animals, be it a cat or a dog is definite to be irritated very easily. Some of them may even bite or scratch when handled or approached. The condition is even worsened when the pet is handled in a way that triggers its arthritic pain.
- Dying off of the tissues in the muscle: When a dog suffers from arthritis, it may also cause muscle atrophy or dying off of the muscle owing to decreased movement of the muscle and inactivity. When the dog has muscle atrophy, the legs would become thinner than normal legs.
- Licking the affected area: Dogs who are suffering from arthritic pain may develop a habit of biting, chewing and licking the affected area. Even though it is normal to indulge in such activities, it may reach an extent where the area becomes inflamed or there is a loss of hair in those areas in the body.
It is not that your dog would all of these signs if it has arthritis and therefore, you must consult with a reputed veterinarian if you see any of these signs without further delay.
Finally osteoarthritis is a multifactorial disease. Genetic predisposition, inherited skeletal disorders like hip dysplasia, pollution factors inducing free radical damage may make your dog prone to oasteoarthiris. Obesity is a common factor which aggravates the sufferings. Dietary management, physical managements like controlled exercise & swimming, physiotherapy and feed supplements that protect joints & bone structures along with available commercial diets for nourishing those delicate structures may be a good gateway tovprovide your beloved pet a quality life. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can ask a free question.