One of the major causes of chronic pain in dogs, especially as they get older, is arthritis. While the condition can affect younger dogs as well, it is most common in middle aged to older pets. Arthritis causes the joints to become inflamed, which can make it hard for the dog to get around and can be extremely painful. There are signs and symptoms of arthritis in dogs to be on the lookout for.
One of the most common signs that your dog has arthritis is a stiffening of the joints. If the dog suddenly seems uninterested in getting up and moving around or has a hard time standing then it could have the early warning signs of arthritis. The stiffness can make your dog walk slower after a long nap.
If the dog is limping or favoring a leg on one side, it could be signs of arthritis. A dog who has injured a leg in the past can easily develop arthritis in that limb. Dogs who favor one side of their body over the other should be taken in to be checked out by a vet.
If the dog is normally jumping up onto the couch or into a person’s lap and no longer does so, it could be the beginning stages of arthritis. Likewise, if the dog tries to jump onto the couch or into a person’s lap and can’t or is really clumsy, he needs to be checked out as soon as possible.
One sign of arthritis in a dog is the inability to do things that they used to do with ease. If the dog has a hard time standing for even short periods of time to eat or to use the bathroom, then arthritis has probably started to set in.
Problems Climbing Stairs
Most dogs have no problems bounding to the top of the stairs in a hurry. If a dog suddenly has no interest in climbing the stairs to get to its owner, then it needs to be taken to the vet. Climbing stairs can cause such extreme pain in a dog with arthritis that some will refuse to do it. If the dog used to take the stairs with ease, it is time for a trip to the vet.
Changes in Personality
Any animal that is in pain is going to have changes in its personality. If the dog is suddenly uninterested in playing ball, going on walks or running around the yard, then the dog isn’t feeling well. Extreme changes in personality combined with the other sign and symptoms of arthritis in dogs means it is time to get the dog checked out by a vet for diagnoses and treatment.
These are a few of the signs and symptoms that a dog has arthritis. From trouble taking the stairs to personality changes, any of these symptoms combined means that the dog should be taken in to be examined. The vet will determine the severity of the arthritis and start the dog on a treatment plan.