Is your canine friend struggling with dog joint pain? Arthritis in dogs causes many dogs in their older years to have pain in their joints. Let’s take a look at what causes dog joint pain, and what can be done to help your precious pooch.
According to PetMD, there are two different causes of origin for dog joint pain to occur. Joint pain in dogs are either developmental or degenerative.
Developmental joint pain in dogs often manifests as hip or elbow dysplasia, which causes the joint to develop improperly. This cause has more to do with genetics than anything else.
When dog joint pain is degenerative, it is created over a period of time, often just from the wear and tear of physical activity. Chasing tennis balls, jumping around, and climbing up the stairs over the years can cause minor injuries, which lead to joint problems developing in dogs.
Degenerative conditions such as cruciate ligament problems are the most common cause of arthritis in dogs. What happens is that the ligament degenerates over time, which ends up causing instability and secondary osteoarthritis in the dog.
Signs of Dog Joint Pain
- If you see your dog limping, pay attention to which leg he is favoring. This may mean he has arthritis developing in the weaker leg.
- Does your dog have difficulty moving, doing activities he used to have no problem with? For instance if your dog can’t get in and out of the car or go up the stairs, arthritis might be the cause.
- Spinal issues may occur with dog joint pain. Various parts of the spine may be affected, causing a sore neck, a hunched back, or lameness in one or both of the hind legs.
- Does your pet wear out easier than they used to? Tiredness may make them unable to take long walks with you anymore, and they spend more time resting.
- Dog joint pain may make your pet When you approach or handle them, they may snap or bit if your petting them has made their pain increase.
- Muscle atrophy is another sign of arthritis in dogs. This makes them look skinnier. This is due to muscle tissue dying in their legs.
- Incessant licking, chewing and biting is another sign of arthritis in dogs. They do this because they are trying to make themselves feel better in places where they are sore.
Treatments for Arthritis in Dogs
Treatments for joint problems in dogs are divided into surgical, and non-surgical options. Surgical options range from cleaning a joint arthroscopically, all the way to replacing the joint completely.
As far as non-surgical management of joint pain, the dog’s weight often becomes the focus. The goal is to bring the dog to his ideal weight, which will decrease inflammation and stress levels on the joints. The goal is also for the dog to become as strong as possible. Building muscle mass over the joints will help protect them, and help them to function better.
There is also various types of medicine, foods and food additives that are available to support dog joint health. Helpful additives include fish oils and glucosamine/chondroitin which help decrease inflammation. You may choose to give your dog supplements of these to help his joint condition. However, be sure only to choose supplements that contain ingredients that are scientifically proven to help arthritic dogs.