Osteoarthritis is a chronic condition of the joints found in dogs as well as humans. Although it is most common in older dogs, the condition can be found in animals of all ages.
Osteoarthritis in dogs results in the same symptoms as you would find with a human affected by the condition. The joints stiffen and may become painful, resulting in less flexibility and a general reduction in the ability to move the joint freely.
Dogs do not always show that they are experiencing pain, which means that the symptoms are not always apparent at first. However, signs of canine osteoarthritis can include stiffness, particularly after resting, which can lead to your dog being reluctant to run around or climb stairs. He may also stay longer in his bed or, if you encounter a sore spot when petting him, may yelp in reaction to the pain.
Osteoarthritis is degenerative, which means it will get worse over time, although there are steps you can take to keep your pet mobile for as long as possible. Firstly, it is important to confirm your diagnosis with a vet, who may then prescribe anti-inflammatory tablets or substances such as glucosamine to aid mobility in the joints. Controlling his diet will become especially important, as excess weight puts unnecessary strain on already uncomfortable joints.
It is recommended that you continue to give your dog regular exercise, as this helps keep the joints mobile. Your vet will be able to advise how much exercise is suitable for your dog.