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As you may know, arthritis is one of the most common conditions that can affect our canine companions. As many as 80 percent of pups that are over the age of eight are afflicted. Arthritis doesn’t usually make a grand entrance: it often starts quite mildly, and gradually worsens over time. It’s important to know the warning signs to look for, especially as your pooch ages. An Ada, MI vet lists some of them below.
Limping is often — though not always — one of the first signs of arthritic pain in dogs. At first, Fido may only limp briefly, usually when he first gets up from a nap. In the beginning, that limp may go away as soon as your furry friend warms up. However, as the condition gets worse, it will become pronounced.
Reduced Interest In Play
Pain can take a bite out of anyone’s enthusiasm for running and playing. This is just as true for dogs as it is for people. Fido may tap out after a few rounds of Fetch, and he may just not be very interested in jumping to catch a stick of Frisbee anymore.
Arthritis affects the joints, so it isn’t a surprise that it can dramatically affect how pets walk and move. Fido may have trouble getting in and out of the car, or perhaps climbing on and off beds and couches.
Dogs that don’t feel well often don’t feel very sociable. Fido may withdraw to a quiet area, or just act grumpy or withdrawn.
Stiffness is another thing to watch for. Fido may seem a bit sore and clumsy. He may move slowly and cautiously, instead of bounding around joyfully as he did when he was a puppy.
Although arthritis can’t be cured, it can be managed. However, this is one issue where early treatment can make a huge difference. If you notice any of the signs we listed above, or if you are just concerned that your pooch is at high risk of arthritis, due to his size, breed, history, talk to your vet. There are treatments that can help your furry buddy feel better, and increase both his range of motion and quality of life.
Please reach out to us, your Ada, MI pet clinic, for all of your canine pal’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!