In many ways, dogs are no different than people.  Like us, dogs go through the natural aging process and there will eventually come a time when your exuberant canine friend can no longer sprint for miles or leap over fences in pursuit of a ball.  Some dogs are lucky enough to avoid too many health problems once they become seniors, but many are stricken with painful arthritis in later life.

Senior Boxer Dog
Royalty free photo

There are many ways to treat arthritis in dogs. Elk Velvet Supplements and other products can help with the symptoms, but the key to success is treating the condition nice and early. The earlier you tackle old-age mobility issues, the less your doggy friend will suffer. And remember, dogs are pack animals, so they instinctively hide their pain. Once your dog starts yelping and groaning when he tries to move, he is in a lot more pain than you realize.

Here are some of the telltale sales your dog is showing the signs of arthritis.

Stiff Joints in the Morning

Humans with arthritis are usually very stiff first thing in the morning. Your dog is no different. Watch her when she first gets up. If she limps or finds it hard to extricate herself from her bed, her joints are beginning to seize up. Pets (and humans) usually loosen up as the day goes on, so again, this points towards arthritis being the problem rather than over exercise.

Lameness

Dogs with arthritis often show signs of lameness. Instead of bounding along, they limp or adopt an awkward gait. Arthritis usually affects the hip joints in the hind legs. So you may notice your dog struggling to walk at a brisk pace.

Can’t Jump, Won’t Jump

Young dogs have no problem jumping up into the back of a truck or leaping on to the sofa or bed. Older dogs no longer have the mobility in their hind legs. Arthritis causes irreparable damage to the joints, so jumping becomes painful or just impossible. If you notice that your dog is finding it difficult to jump when previously he had no issues whatsoever, suspect arthritis.

Behavioral Problems

Arthritis is a painful condition. Joints become inflamed and the more you try to move, the more painful it is, particularly first thing in the morning or on a damp, cold day. Dogs are no different and they feel just as much pain as we do. Arthritic dogs are likely to become irritable and bad tempered. Your pet will not be able to tell you he is in pain, so if he becomes snappy or tries to bite you when you handle or move him, it is probably because he is in pain.

When an older dog slows down and finds it hard to be active, arthritis is usually the problem. As soon as you notice any symptoms of arthritis, take your dog for a check-up at the vets. There is a lot vets can do to ease the symptoms and help manage the pain, so don’t let your canine friend suffer needlessly.

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Filed under: Caring For Your Senior Dog

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