Arthritis in dogs: symptoms to look out for

Just like humans, our dogs can suffer from arthritis, too. Especially as they get older. Arthritis means inflammation of the joints and is in no doubt just as uncomfortable for our dogs as it is for humans.

There are many reasons a dog would eventually develop arthritis, it could result from an old injury or simply through wear and tear as they grow old.

What are the symptoms that my dog has arthritis?

All dogs are different, and signs of arthritis can vary from dog to dog and throughout the dog’s life. Things that were once easy might now be difficult for your dog.

  • Limping or stiffness, especially after sitting or lying down for a long period of time.
  • No interest in playing a game like fetch.
  • Stairs have become a challenge or are climbed much slower with possible pauses.
  • Sleeping or resting more than usual.
  • Repeated licking at a potentially painful joint.
  • Aggression or irritation when they’re touched, especially around the areas affected.

How can you help your dog?

There is no cure for arthritis in dogs, but this doesn’t mean they can’t be comfortable for the rest of their life.

  • If you speak to your vet and they diagnose your dog with arthritis they will prescribe anti-inflammatory medicine.
  • Keep them at a healthy weight so there’s no unnecessary strain on their joints.
  • It’s important that they remain active to prevent your dog’s joints from stiffening up, but you should avoid any excessive running or jumping.
  • Make sure they have a warm, comfortable bed to rest on, away from any draughty areas.

Many dogs with arthritis live pain-free, or at least comfortable, lives. Even if your dog can no longer climb onto the sofa, you can still sit on the floor with them so that they don’t feel left out. If they’re unable to get upstairs, why not spend more time downstairs? You might not be able to throw a ball for them on your walks, but you can still invest in doggy puzzles to keep them mentally stimulated.

If you’re unsure if your dog is suffering from arthritis or is showing worrying symptoms you should always speak to your vet and they’ll be able to help you and give you advice.

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