Is your older dog suffering in silence from arthritis? Spot the signs
October 14, 2020
Unfortunately, many dogs suffer in silence as they get older. Unlike humans, who can explain when their joints are stiff and painful and that they’re struggling to get around, dogs with arthritis can’t tell us how they feel.
Many owners believe that their dog is slowing down because “they’re just getting older” and that “there’s probably not much that can be done now” to help them. Take our canine health assessment quiz to understand if your dog could have arthritis.
Canine osteoarthritis affects 4 out of 5 older dogs and is one of the most common causes of chronic pain in ageing dogs (some young dogs can suffer from it too). It’s a degenerative condition, for which there is no cure. However, thanks to the advancement of veterinary medicines and treatments, dogs with arthritis can enjoy an active, albeit slightly slower, and happy life with a few lifestyle and environmental changes.
Ask Helen or any of our veterinary team for advice on how to help arthritic dogs. Contact us.
Is my dog ‘old’?
Dogs age at different rates, dependent on their breed, size, lifestyle, and general health. Typically, however, most dogs enter their ‘older’ years between the ages of 5 and 9. Helen explains potential changes in ageing dogs:
Six things you should look out for in your older dog:
- Slower on walks – lagging behind, wanting to sniff more, taking more rest breaks, or refusing to walk.
- Stiff when getting up from resting – stairs and getting on/off the settee may be more difficult too.
- Appears lazy – wants to sleep more and do less, not as keen to play or go on walks.
- Withdrawn demeanor – doesn’t interact with you and your family or other pets as much.
- More irritable than normal – gets grumpier more easily and dislikes being handled, may growl or snap.
- Excessive licking or chewing of sore joints – you may notice saliva stains on their fur.
Health checks for older dogs
Helen recommends regular health checkups for older dogs to ensure they’re getting the healthcare and support they need for their life-stage. Our vets can spot any issues and advise you on how best to treat and manage this life-changing condition through:
- Medication, supplements, and treatments available for arthritis
- Complementary treatments like laser therapy
- Environmental changes you can make in your home and garden
- Lifestyle changes to your dog’s routine and activities