What are the symptoms of arthritis in dogs?
By the age of 3, it is estimated that 70% of pets have some level of arthritis. In the early stages of the disease, your stoic companion may show little to no signs. As arthritis progresses, your dog may appear stiff or limp, especially following an activity. They may also be slower when climbing stairs or rising from a resting position, hesitate or refuse to jump up on to furniture or cry out when touched in sore areas.
What causes arthritis in dogs?
Primary arthritis tends to occur in older pets and is attributed to changes in cartilage. When normal joint impact meets deteriorated cartilage, it results in pain and inflammation. In secondary arthritis, it is the opposite. The cartilage is healthy, and it is the joint impact that is abnormal such as with trauma or joint instability. Secondary arthritis can affect dogs of all ages.
What are some treatment options for arthritis in dogs?
Anti-inflammatory medications, as well as supplements to help maintain joint health, are often helpful. Keeping a healthy body weight is also beneficial, and there are many wonderful diets formulated specifically for improved joint health. Alternative therapies such as hydrotherapy, laser therapy or acupuncture can be helpful on their own or as an addition to traditional approaches.
Can I give my dog Aspirin?
Your veterinarian knows your pet, their medical history and any medications they are currently receiving. All of this information is vital in determining what medications are safe and will be beneficial for your dog. It is always best to discuss medications with your veterinarian before giving them to your dog.