February 3, 2010

How do I know if my dog has arthritis?

Not only is arthritis a very painful condition, it can also be debilitating. While we often associate our older relatives with the disease, the truth is anybody and any pet can suffer from arthritis. Indeed, arthritis in dogs is one of the most commonly diagnosed physical conditions and since none of us want to see our dogs in pain, it is important to recognize the symptoms early so treatment can be started. Luckily, dog arthritis is also one of the most treatable medical diagnoses.

To recognize dog arthritis, you should familiarize yourself with the symptoms. One of the most obvious symptoms of arthritis in dogs is limping. If your dog appears to be favoring one of its limbs, this is an indication of arthritis. However, it could also indicate that your dog has had some kind of accident so it’s important to visit the veterinarian. dog arthritisStill, if you notice limping or lameness in the limbs with a gradual onset, then you are more likely dealing with a case of arthritis. Moreover, pain associated with arthritis is often worse in the morning and you may notice your dog having difficulty getting up from a resting position.

Arthritic dogs also have problems sitting or standing for long periods and in the more advanced stages of the disease your pet will not be able to get in and out of the car without assistance and stairs pose a much bigger challenge. One of the worst problems with dog arthritis is that the pain experienced by your dog prevents it from enjoying regular activities. Dogs with arthritis cannot keep up as easily on walks or runs and your dog may seem depressed or lethargic. There are many viable treatments for arthritis in dogs, so if you suspect your dog is suffering, visit a veterinarian to discuss your best plan of attack.

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Disclaimer: CritterCures is an educational resource, and all information herein is strictly for educational purposes. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure diseases, nor is it meant to replace the (prescribed) treatment or recommendations of your veterinarian or healthcare provider. Always inform your veterinarian or healthcare provider of any products that your pet are taking, including herbal remedies and supplements.