If your dog could talk, being his best friend would be a lot easier. But he can’t tell you that his knees stiffen up after he plays too long - or that his hips hurt when he goes down stairs. He’s counting on you to recognize signs of pain and decreased mobility and to have your veterinarian diagnose and treat the condition.
To provide the best care for your best friend, take a few minutes to learn the facts, the signs and how your dog can find relief from painful arthritis. If your dog could talk he’d thank you for it.
• Know the facts
Arthritis is a painful, degenerative joint disease that affects one in five adult dogs. Arthritis is even more common among older dogs. Unfortunately, many cases go undiagnosed because owners attribute the subtle changes in their dogs to "old age" or "slowing down".
• Know the signs
Any dog can develop arthritis, and knowing the signs and symptoms of pain may help you determine when your dog needs veterinary attention.
• Could your dog have arthritis?
1. Does your dog tire easily or lag behind during long walks? 2. Does your dog limp or appear stiff after activity? 3. Is your dog reluctant to climb steps or jump up? 4. Is your dog slow to rise from a resting position?
If you answered "yes" to any of these questions it is possible that your dog is suffering from painful arthritis. We recommend that you ask your Vet to examine your dog. The sooner your dog is properly diagnosed and treated, the sooner they can overcome the pain and become an active member of your family again.
Managing arthritis involves a three-point plan including weight control, controlled exercise and medication. The choice of medication for arthritis is increasing all the time and includes pain relief, cartilage protective agents and over the counter joint health products such as glucosamine and green lipped mussel extracts. There are even special commercial dog foods available that contain some of these special ingredients removing the need to add supplement to the diet. Your Vet can discuss the best options for your dog.