How to Identify the Early Signs of Arthritis in Dogs? A Comprehensive Guide

How to Identify the Early Signs of Arthritis in Dogs? A Comprehensive Guide

Has your dog suddenly become a lazy lad from a hyperactive pup? Is he facing a hard time to get out of bed in the morning?

Is he limping throughout the time instead of playing and running? And most importantly, is he avoiding your touch?

If yes, don't make a mistake by taking these behaviors lightly. I have already done that, and the worst thing is, my dog paid off for my fault.

He used to jump over anything and be so enthusiastic that I had to install pet gets, create no-dog zones to save the brittle materials of my house.  

But the scene changed entirely just 2 years ago. My dog was 4 years old at that time. He lost his agility all of a sudden, and the playtime dwindled down to an apathetic frolic with a toy.

He was too irritable at that time. From climbing stairs to get out of the car- everything seemed to elicit groans of discomfort.

For the first few days, I thought it's normal to get tired or be in a bad mood for dogs also.

But when these symptoms stayed and started showing greater impact, I rushed to my vet. Guess what? My dog was diagnosed with arthritis.  

I was literally shocked. Yeah, I've heard about old age dog arthritis, just like a human, but at the 4 years of age?

Well, my vet said growing dogs could have arthritis at any age, and all these limping, not getting up, leg stiffing are early signs of arthritis. However, it was a lot for me to take because dog arthritis isn’t treatable.

But the good thing is, the pain and discomfort are controllable, and I see the result just in front of my eyes. Yes, now my dog has regained his puppyhood. How? I'll tell you below. 

"My dog has trouble getting up but walks fine"- Is It One of the Early Signs of Arthritis? 

Yes, that can be an early sign. Arthritis is quite common in both humans and dogs. The disease is basically the result of wear and tears on the joints.

Arthritis can affect any joint of your dog's body, but the most common affected areas are hips, shoulders, and keens. Why?

Because these joints stay cushioned with a layer of cartilage, which also provides a smooth surface to the adjoining bones to move freely.

Along with that, there is a certain type of lubrication on the joints, provided by the synovial fluid, to make the bone movements smoother.  

However, when this cartilage deteriorates, and the synovial fluid loses its lubrication property, the movements of the bones become stiff, which finally leads to discomfort and severe pain.

This is the case for both humans and dogs. The only difference is, humans can explain the pain, but dogs can't. Of course, there will be certain signs like the dog's back legs stiff, weight gaining, etc.

So, you have to understand the early signs of arthritis to give your dog the proper treatment. Here I have listed the most common signs of dog arthritis, have a look.  

  • Unwilling to get up, walk, jump, climb stairs, or play
  • Lagging behind while walking
  • Limping or lameness
  • Leg stiffness while getting down
  • More agitated or aggressive behavior
  • Yelping when touched
  • Licking some particular adjoints more often 

Whenever you see such behavior of your dog, consult a vet as soon as possible. Along with that, follow the below regime to manage and control the pain and discomfort of your fur-buddy. 

“How to ease my dog’s joint pain?” 5 Best Natural Remedies for Dog Arthritis

The first step to manage your dog's arthritis is to take him to a vet. Proper treatment and medication can help him get a new lease on his life.

In addition to that, you must take care of him like a baby. Apart from the thorough clinical treatment, you must do these 5 things mentioned below to help your dog enjoy his life again. 

  1. Control Weight and Diet

Large dog breeds tend to suffer more because of their sheer size, but that doesn’t mean smaller breeds are immune.

If your dog is putting on weight, the arthritis condition will deteriorate more and more. You must make him lose some weight to take the strain off his bones and joints.

Plan a special diet which contains Omega-3 fatty acids, chondroitin sulfate, and glucosamine, to help your dog relieve the arthritis pain.

  1. Provide a Soft Bed

Offering a soft bed is as important as planning a special diet. The orthopedic dog beds are made of memory foam, which supports the affected joints and bones of your dog. Doing so will definitely ease his discomfort. 

  1. Install Cubes, Ramps, and Slip-free Flooring

As you already know, how much pain your dog feels while climbing stairs or just walking, even the pain becomes severe when he walks on hardwood or tile floors.

There are ramps and cubes are available in the market, which makes it easier for your dog to climb stairs or get up and down from sofas.

You can place rugs or carpets to customize a slip-free floor. If you do so, it will be much easier for your canine friend to walk around. 

  1. Physical Massage and Exercises Are Must

Pamper your dog with physical massage and exercise. This will increase the mobility and flexibility of your dog and reduce the risk of any injury.

Massage will increase the blood circulation on your dog's body. If your dog's back legs stiff, massage well with circular and vertical strokes.

But make sure you're doing it gently and not putting direct pressure on the affected joints. Otherwise, it'll be painful for him. 

  1. Groom Your Dog Everyday

It's hard for an arthritic dog to groom himself. You should make time every day to clean him well, especially those hard-to-reach areas. Brush his hair regularly and be gentle every time. All he needs is your support in this condition. 

That's all! Now, you know the natural remedies to ease your dog's joint pain. But make sure you're maintaining this regime along with the proper clinical treatment.

I hope you will see your dog regaining his quick-feet very soon. If you have further queries, drop a comment in the below box. Stay connected for more pet guides. Happy petting!

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