Arthritis is common in senior pets, and can significantly impact their quality of life. Large breed dogs are especially prone to joint pain since they carry much more weight. It is therefore important to recognize the signs of joint pain so medications or supplements can be initiated before significant disease develops.
What are the symptoms of arthritis in dogs?
Stiffness and pain are two of the main clinical signs your pet may have arthritis. Reluctance to go on walks or difficulty standing up are also things you may notice at home.
What causes arthritis in dogs?
Degenerative joint disease most often develops due to abnormal wear on the cartilage which protects the bone surface. This wear occurs more quickly in joints with abnormal instability (due to ligament injury), excessive weight, trauma, or bone incongruities. As the cartilage wears down, the bone surfaces rub against each other, causing reactive bone spurs to develop. It eventually results in inflammation within the joint, decreased range of motion, and increased pain.
What are some treatment options for arthritis in dogs?
There are a wide variety of joint supplements to help senior pets with arthritis. These supplements help to decrease inflammation as well as provide the nutrients needed for increased joint health. Many of these supplements are sold over the counter, but an exam is recommended to ensure you’re treating correctly. Your vet may choose to start your dog on prescription anti-inflammatories or regular injections to help with the pain.
Can I give my dog Aspirin?
We do not recommend giving your dog aspirin. It can result in an increased risk of bleeding. It is best to contact your vet clinic for a more appropriate medication for your pet.