Dog Arthritis Symptoms You Need to Be Aware of in Brandon, FL
Do you have an older dog? Have you been recently concerned that your dog might have arthritis? Or do you still have a younger dog but want to be aware of the signs and symptoms of arthritis to be on the lookout for?
If any of this sounds like you, it’s a good idea to read up on these symptoms. Check out the article below to find out more about what to look for if you think your dog might have arthritis. Be sure to speak with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s health and wellbeing.
Stiffness After Sleep
Do you notice your dog taking a long time to get out of bed after they’ve been napping? Do they have to stretch a lot to be able to start moving in the mornings? If so, this can be an early sign that your dog is developing some arthritis.
This sign isn’t a very severe one, but you should still bring it up with your vet during your dog’s next visit. Since this is an early symptom, it might progress further with time, so it’s best to address it as soon as you can.
Limping or Favoring One Leg
Sometimes, dogs may develop arthritis in one leg at a more advanced rate than others. This could be because of an injury earlier or in life or simply because of how your dog walks or moves. If you notice your dog developing a limp or starting to favor one sore leg over others, this can be a sign of arthritis.
This can also be a symptom, however, of other issues. You should keep an eye on it and take your dog to the vet for their limp if it doesn’t go away in a few days.
Sometimes, if a dog’s arthritis is progressing, it can start to cause swelling of the joints. You may be able to see this swelling if it becomes very severe, but before that stage, you can often feel it while you’re petting your dog. Check your dog’s joints periodically to see if you can tell whether or not they are swollen.
Swollen joints can be caused by other underlying issues, too, so you should try to take your dog to the vet soon if you notice swelling like this. Of course, if the swelling is associated with a broken bone or an insect or snake bite, take them to the emergency vet.
Aggression or Fear When Touched
When your dog is in pain, they may become aggressive or afraid when someone tries to touch them. Even your dog’s favorite member of the family may notice them snarling or growling when being touched, and this can be a surefire sign that something is wrong.
However, this type of behavioral problem associated with touching can be caused by all kinds of pain. For this reason, you should take your dog to the vet to have them checked out if you notice that they are in pain.
Unwillingness to Walk
As dogs get older, they become less interested in walking and less capable of walking for long stretches of time; this is normal. However, if your dog develops an unwillingness to go outside for walks at all, this may mean he/she is in pain when walking. Arthritis can be the cause of this.
There may be other reasons contributing to a dog’s unwillingness to go outside for a walk. Sometimes, this problem is behavioral. However, arthritis is one of the most common causes, especially if the weather has changed recently.
Inability to Jump
While they are young, dogs often enjoy jumping—either in play or jumping onto furniture to cuddle with their human family. However, dogs who develop arthritis may not be able to do this anymore, or they may struggle significantly when they try. This is a sign your dog’s arthritis is causing them some pain and may need to be managed with vet care.
Additionally, you can place a ramp or set of dog steps at the end of the bed or near the sofa so your dog can continue sitting with you. This may help them feel comfortable even while they’re dealing with pain.
Next Steps if You Suspect Your Dog is Dealing with Arthritis
Armed with this information, you can more easily understand which symptoms may be simply a factor of your dog’s advancing age and which ones you should be concerned with. From there, you can determine when and how to talk to your vet about arthritis management options for your furry friend.
Although arthritis is common in older dogs, it doesn’t have to stop your dog completely. Talk with your vet as soon as you think this might be a problem your dog is facing, so you can tackle the symptoms before they get too severe.
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About Veterinary Healthcare Associates
Veterinary Healthcare Associates in Winter Haven, FL, was established over 30 years ago as Maxwell Animal Clinic by Dr. John Maxwell. Maxwell Animal Clinic was a one-doctor general practice offering preventive care, dentistry, and standard surgical services to the community. As the years passed, Maxwell Animal Clinic evolved into a thriving 10-doctor general, specialty referral, and emergency veterinary practice.