If you are concerned that your dog may have arthritis, it is important to consult with your veterinarian and have x-ray taken. X-rays will determine exactly what you are dealing with. Another consideration is to have a tick borne disease test run depending on your geographic area. In the northeast, Lyme disease is often an underlying issue.
Arthritis in dogs is not cut and dry. Symptoms may not be displayed until it is too late. Arthritis involves more than just the joints.
The typical cycle of arthritis goes something like this:
* Your dog starts to show signs of pain while doing regular activities such as getting up, jumping into the car, etc.
* They then start to avoid these activities
* Lack of these activities results in muscle loss
* Loss of muscle results in less support of body weight and more strain on the skeletal system
* The skeletal system (joint pain) was the start of this
* Therefore it is more painful to do the normal day to day activities and more time is spent "laying around"
* More inactivity results in more muscle loss and less support
* Are you following me!
One important factor is to start early on with a good joint supplement that consist of natural anti-inflammatories as well as, chondoprotectants such as glucosamine and chondroitin. It is not uncommon for dogs to display one or more of the following clinical signs:
Top 12 Clinical Signs of Arthritis:
* Slowing Down: Don't mistake it for "just getting older
* Sleeping More/Longer in the morning; Not wanting to get out of bed
* Closed Hind Leg Stance
* Wide Front Leg Stance
* Bunny Hopping
* Joint Licking
* Slow to get up
* Reluctance to go for walks; shorter walks
* Avoiding stairs, jumping on bed/couch or into car
* Muscle Loss (Muscle Atrophy)
Whatever the signs maybe, dog arthritis is not something that should be ignored!
Dr. James St.Clair, is the founder of TopDog Rehabilitation & TopDog Animal Health. He is one of the nations leading experts on arthritis in dogs with regards to prevention and treatment.
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