Does Your Dog Have Arthritis?

Have you noticed a change in your dog’s mood and behavior? Is he showing less interest in walks and play time? According to veterinary medicine studies, 60 percent of dogs over the age of seven have arthritis, but their owners don’t recognize the symptoms.

The Pain of Arthritis

Arthritis, a degenerative joint disease, causes pain in humans and animals. People with arthritis can vocalize pain and seek medical help through a doctor and medications. Dogs with arthritis will rarely vocalize pain, unless it’s a sudden injury. With the chronic pain of arthritis, most animals will suffer in silence. Pain will show up in mood and behavioral changes. You may notice that your dog doesn’t run anymore or that he walks slower than he once did. He may have difficulty getting up from a reclining position or toss and turn while sleeping. A dog with arthritis may sleep or nap more than normal and be harder to wake up. He may also exhibit grumpy or even aggressive behavior when petted or touched. If this occurs, don’t take it personally. His odd behavior is all about the pain he’s feeling.

Pain Management and Prevention

Arthritis is a non-curable disease, but pain can be effectively managed with various medications. Anti-inflammatory medications and prescriptions, as well as natural joint supplements like cetyl m for dogs, offer relief for chronic joint pain caused by arthritis. If anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are prescribed for your dog, it’s important to take him to the vet for annual checkups. Long-term use of NSAIDs can cause kidney and liver problems. Whatever type of pain management treatment you choose, once your dog’s pain is relieved you may notice that he has more energy for walks and seems more eager to play.

Preventing arthritis may be difficult, especially as your dog gets older. The risk of degenerative joint disease increases in human and animals with age due to bone loss and wear and tear on cartilage. Although arthritis may not be preventable, you can slow down its progression through diet and exercise. According to veterinarians, keeping your dog at a healthy weight is one good way to fight off arthritis. Extra weight puts stress on a dog’s joints. Veterinarians commonly see overweight dogs with hip and leg problems. A healthy weight combined with daily exercise can help your dog live longer and avoid diseases, including arthritis, in his senior years.

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