Does your dog have arthritis? Arthritic pain can strike any dog at any age, breed or size. Most dogs over the age of 5-7 years, especially larger breed dogs, do have arthritic pain. Unfortunately, most owners don’t notice or appreciate this.
Arthritis, otherwise known as Osteoarthritis (OA) or degenerative joint disease (DJD), is a painful and common disease. Dogs are people pleasers and they try to hide their pain. You are around your dog every day, and therefore it’s up to you to recognize the signs of arthritic pain in your best friend.
Some subtle signs of arthritic pain are below, and be aware that these signs may not be present at all times:
- Difficulty getting up, sitting or squatting to eliminate
- Difficulty rising up after napping or first thing in the morning
- Difficulty rising especially in the rear on hardwood, tile or carpeted areas
- Stiffness after exercise
- Reluctance to climb stairs
- Falling behind on walks
- Loss of appetite
- Change in behavior
One in five adult dogs suffer from this condition. If you see these signs in your dog, contact one of our veterinarians. We can prescribe medications and other modalities that relieve pain and inflammation. Remember, actions speak louder than words, and most dogs won’t cry even though they are in pain.
If you are not sure, we can give you a medication that you can give your dog once a day for 7-21 days. If you notice your dog getting up easier and acting better, then you can tell us your dog is arthritic. In fact, 90% of pet owners who try this are grateful they did.
Do not give anti-inflammatories like aspirin, naproxen, etc. or combine any of these to give to your dog. Dogs are more prone to ulcers than we are. By the way, Tylenol and aspirin can kill your cat!
Some dogs are at greater risk for arthritis. These include:
- Overweight dogs
- Inactive dogs
- Large or giant breeds
Dogs who have had trauma and surgeries on their joints like hip or cruciate surgery