Dogs are living longer lives, and like humans, their advanced years often come with painful chronic diseases like osteoarthritis. If your dog has trouble getting up, tires easily or seems stiff, arthritis may be the culprit. The most common type of canine arthritis is degenerative joint disease, or osteoarthritis.

 

Signs

According to Daily Paws, the behavioral signs of osteoarthritis in dogs to watch for include:

  • Limping after exercise
  • Not being able to walk long distances and moving slower than usual
  • Difficulty getting up after lying down
  • Difficulty jumping (e.g. your dog is no longer able to jump onto the couch like he used to)
  • Difficulty using stairs
  • Stiffness
  • Increased irritability

These changes in behavior can be easy to dismiss as normal aging or to even miss altogether. Since your veterinarian could not see how your dog behaves in his natural habitat, your observations from home are a crucial part of getting a diagnosis.

 

Prevention

Although arthritis is common, it is not inevitable, and many steps can be taken by pet owners to avoid or minimize arthritis in their dogs. We all want our dogs to be healthy and happy for as long as possible. This includes them being pain-free and able to stay active well into old age. Steps that can be taken to medically address injuries and conditions at an early stage usually result in less expense in the long run from untreated conditions progressing and contributing to other conditions, such as arthritis. Avoiding injury will save on both short-term and long-term treatment of conditions such as arthritis and decrease overall veterinary bills.

 

1. Control your dog’s weight.

The biggest risk factor to dogs that contributes to the degeneration of joint tissue, and the development of arthritis is obesity. An overweight dog puts increased strain on joints, making them more susceptible to degeneration. Providing your dog with a healthy diet and appropriate portions to prevent obesity is critical to preventing arthritis. Avoid human food, and foods high in carbohydrates, that your dog may not be able to metabolize efficiently. Make sure you know what the proper amount of food required by your dog for his breed, size and activity level is, and then ensure they only get the correct portion to meet their needs.

 

2. Give them low impact exercise.

Ensure your dog is active and gets plenty of appropriate exercise. It is important not to over-exercise your dog or make them subject to injury from overexertion, however, appropriate activity and exercise contributes to a healthy weight and healthy muscle development to support joints. Both healthy weight and muscle in your dog decrease degeneration of joints that could result in arthritis. Some activities that involve jumping, such as frisbee, can be hard on your dog's joints. Be sure to make sure your dog does not strain his joints, and cause injury while exercising.

 

3. Choose treats with glucosamine and chondroitin.

All-natural treats contain numerous benefits such as vitamins and minerals to add up on your pet's daily intake. Opt for treats that has glucosamine and chondroitin to help support their hip and joints.

 

4. Supplement them vitamins specifically for joints.

Provide dietary supplements such as glucosamine, chondroitin and fatty acids to improve joint health. These supplements help in the formation and maintenance of healthy cartilage at joint sites.

 

5. Consult your veterinarian.

It would always be better to consult your veterinarian to answer all of your inquiries. Do not diagnose your dog on your own and give them antibiotics you only read in the internet and social media as it could risk your pet’s life.

 

References:

https://www.dailypaws.com

https://wagwalking.com