Signs Your Dog Has Arthritis and How to Help May 4, 2017 12:13
Is your senior dog more careful when lying down or slower to get up? Do they stand “weird” with their pelvis tucked and back a little hunched? Are they slow to walk or do they limp? If so, there is a good chance they have arthritis.
Arthritis is the #1 ailment that affects aging dogs. “Arthritis” is not a single disease; it is a broad term referring to joint pain or joint disease. There are many different types of arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common type. When the cartilage – the slick, cushioning surface on the ends of bones – wears away, bone rubs against bone. It usually occurs when a dog’s immune system is depleted and therefore starts attacking joints. One thing that the different types of arthritis have in common is that they cause inflammation, stiffness, and pain of the joints.
Dogs are stoic creatures that rarely display outward signs of pain or discomfort. It’s up to us as pet parents to detect the subtle changes that signal something is wrong and find ways to help them feel better. In addition to the signs mentioned above, queues that could indicate your senior dog has arthritis are:
- Repeatedly licking, chewing or biting a specific area on their body
- Sleeping more or acting lethargic (yes older dogs sleep more but when in pain rest a lot more)
- Being more irritable, which may include snarling or snapping when you try to pick them up
An Important Way to Help Ease Your Dog’s Arthritis Pain
The key to treating your dog’s arthritis-caused pain is to lubricate the synovial joint fluids and help to maintain cartilage. The key ingredient that will help with these things is Glucosamine.
Glucosamine is a natural chemical compound in your dog’s body that helps keep up the health of cartilage. As your dog ages, their body’s ability of producing this compound begins to drop, which leads to the gradual breakdown of that cartilage. The best supplements for joint care have high levels of glucosamine. They may also contain supporting supplements such as chrondroitin, MSM, hyaluronic acid.
Not all supplements have the same effect on all dogs. In order to best help your furry friend, you need to determine the right ingredients, in the right doses, for them. Don’t give up if you don’t see a difference with the first supplement that you try, at the recommended dose. Any supplement you try takes approximately 2-4 weeks to kick in. If that doesn’t work, then try a different supplement. Eventually you will find something that reduces the arthritis symptoms in your senior dog.
Here are some of my most-recommended joint supplements:
- Welly Tails Cartilage Hip & Joint supplement
- Pet-Tek Re-Gen Max Hip & Joint Powder Supplement
- Joint Rescue Green Lipped Mussel Joint Supplement
- Pet-Tek Elk Antler Powder (A great alternative joint supplement if your dog is allergic to seafood or shellfish)
Joint Supplements Are Not Just For Old Dogs Either
Treating your dog at all ages is important when they show signs of arthritis so they can live a more comfortable life. However, joint degeneration and disease often begins to occur at an early age. It’s just that we don’t see outward signs in our pet until later in life.
Because of this, it’s just as important, if not more, to take care of your dog’s joints when they are younger. Especially large breed dogs. The products mentioned above can be used before your dog shows any signs to help delay the onset of the disease and symptoms. This will help ensure their joints stay healthy and pain free as long as possible.