As dogs get older, they begin to experience lots of health issues that we humans do. One of the most common is arthritis but, unlike humans, it can be fairly tricky to spot.
Canine arthritis is often mistaken for older age. The correct diagnosis of the disease is vital, so that your pet is not only able to see out his senior years in comfort, but any problems with his mobility are avoided.
Arthritis in your dog can be hard to spot. One of the symptoms may be that your pet finds it hard to get out of his dog basket after a nap. Some may think this is due to laziness, but it may be because his joints are stiff and sore from resting. The impression that your pooch is becoming a slob may be compounded by the fact that he moves about unhindered soon after – this will be due to his joints loosening up after a short while.
Other tell-tale signs include your pet developing a limp, a noticeably swollen joint, or an inability to jump onto the sofa or climb the stairs.
The symptoms of canine arthritis may be present one day, only to disappear the next. As such, it’s necessary to be vigilant, and to seek the advice of a vet should you spot the symptoms. If left unaffected, not only will your dog be in a great deal of pain, but he will experience secondary effects too. A dog that compensates by placing more of its weight onto its remaining legs will soon see the muscles in his arthritic limb waste away. Also, the nails on his paws will grow long and uncomfortable, as walking wears them down.
Thankfully, the disease is treatable, but there are several steps that you can take to reduce your pet’s chance of developing it. An overweight dog will stand more chance of becoming arthritic, as his joints will experience more wear and tear than they are designed for. A diet and a regime of light exercise will ensure that some of this pressure is relieved, and will increase his mobility.