Did you know that as many as 80 percent of dogs that are over the age of eight have arthritis? While unfortunately, arthritis cannot be cured, there are treatments that can help. Of course, Fido can’t tell you if he is feeling sore, so it’s up to you to watch for red flags. In this article, a Sandstone, MN vet lists some of the common ones to look for.
Arthritis can definitely put a damper on your furry pal’s playful antics. If Fido doesn’t seem as interested in playing Fetch or Frisbee as he used to be, there may be something going on.
Dogs that are hurting often bite or lick at sore spots. You may notice your canine buddy nibbling at certain areas, particularly his legs, paws, and the base of his spine.
Another thing to watch for is limping. This may be very subtle in the beginning. For instance, a pooch that is only beginning to develop arthritis may just limp briefly when they first get up. However, over time, that limp will get worse and worse, and it will stop going away once Fido warms up.
Your canine pal may have trouble going up and down stairs, getting in and out of the car, or—if he’s allowed—getting on and off the bed or couch. (Note: pet ramps or stairs can help Fido get around more easily.)
Puppies are super lithe and athletic, and often love to jump and spin. Pooches with arthritis, however, may seem visibly stiff and sore when moving around.
Arthritis and hip dysplasia can affect how your canine friend stands and walks. Over time, this may affect his body composition. For instance, dogs with hip dysplasia often lose muscle mass in their hind legs, but gain it around their chests. This is because they often carry their weight in the front, keeping it off those sore back legs.
Just as with people, dogs with arthritis often have flare ups when it’s damp, cold, rainy, or all three. If your furry best friend seems noticeably stiffer when the weather changes, he may be dealing with arthritic pain.
Do you have questions about your pet’s health or care? We are here to help! Please contact us, your Sandstone, MN animal clinic, anytime!