How to know if my dog has arthritis
Canine arthritis is one of the most common degenerative conditions in dogs, especially in the elderly and those who are overweight. When it occurs, there is a degradation of the articular cartilage and the creation of osteophytes that worsens with the passage of time if it is not identified and treatment is initiated. As with humans, arthritis in cans has a series of symptoms that show that our dog has a health problem. Keep reading this article and discover how to know if your dog has arthritis .
Although this degenerative disease can affect any dog, it is important to know that there are a number of circumstances and risk factors that favor its appearance and development. The tired ones with more possibilities of suffering osteoarthritis are:
- Those over eight years old . More than half of canine osteoarthritis cases range between nine and thirteen years of age. Over time, the joints and bone structures degenerate and this type of disease is more likely to appear.
- Those of big or giant race . The bigger the dog is, the more weight the joints of its extremities must hold, favoring its wear.
- Those who suffer from obesity or overweight . The joints must support a weight that is well above the ideal, producing an overload of them.
In addition to these, it is noteworthy that there are some races with more genetic predisposition than others, is the case of the Labrador Retriever and the German Shepherd. Also, if the dog has suffered some type of joint surgery, the chances of suffering from arthritis increase.
Lameness is the most common symptom in dogs that have arthritis. If your dog does not walk as usual and you notice that it is limping slightly on one of the legs or more, it is possible that you suffer from this degenerative disease and you should take it to the veterinarian.
It is also common for tired people with arthritis to have rigidity when they wake up and difficulties when getting up. This rigidity can be more or less mild depending on the state of the disease.
Chronic and persistent pain is another of the symptoms of canine arthritis. When feeling a noticeable pain in the joints when walking or moving, it is normal for the dog to start limping and reducing its movements . Therefore, it is important to pay attention to the behavior changes of our dog. If you were an energetic dog and, little by little, the intensity of the exercise has decreased, you have stopped running or even walking, you may have a problem in the joints.
In addition to the reduction of exercise and range of motion, you can notice if your dog is suffering from joint pain or not by palpation. If touching your paws your dog cries or makes a gesture that indicates that they hurt, it may be that the cause is arthritis. Also, notice if licking or scratching feels some type of discomfort.
The state of discomfort can cause the dog to lose heart, as well as loss of appetite and, consequently, weight loss. In many cases, the tired ones express the symptoms of pain by means of slight moans or light, but constant weeping. However, many others do not externalize it, which makes it difficult for their owners to identify the disease. Therefore, it is important to look at the amount of food and liquids they eat, as well as their mood.
If you notice any of the above symptoms, do not hesitate to take your dog to the veterinarian to diagnose canine arthritis and initiate the appropriate treatment. Normally, the specialist scans and examines the joints of the can to check if there is pain and stiffness, and to be able to confirm or not the diagnosis. Because many cans do not externalize the pain and may take time to show the first symptoms, it is always advisable to examine them frequently.