At Animal Medical Clinic, we understand that arthritis doesn’t discriminate. It affects not only people of all ages — but also strikes our furry friends, too. If you’re a dog-owner, you make sure your buddy takes his heartworm medicine, eats well, looks bright-eyed and playful, and greets you as only a doggy can when you come home. You notice changes in mood and activity, so if your pet isn’t feeling his best you may suspect a cold or stomach virus – but it could be arthritis. In fact, arthritis affects one in every five adult dogs in the U.S. and is one of the most common sources of chronic pain for our four legged friends.

How do you know if it’s arthritis? Your dog can’t tell you he is hurting, but he can show you….so it’s important to watch his non-verbal cues closely and take even subtle changes seriously.

Signs that your dog may have arthritis:

  • Favoring a limb
  • Difficulty sitting or standing
  • Sleeping more
  • Seeming to have stiff or sore joints
  • Hesitancy to jump, run or climb stairs
  • Weight gain
  • Decreased activity or less interest in play
  • Attitude or behavior changes
  • Being less alert

If your dog seems to have any of these symptoms for more than two weeks please give us a call and make an appointment for an arthritis evaluation, which will involve a physical exam and possibly X-rays. The best thing to do for your dog in managing his arthritis is to get a diagnosis and start a treatment plan as soon as possible. Treating canine arthritis is similar to that of human osteoarthritis.

No matter how you decide to treat your dog’s arthritis, make sure you work with a qualified veterinarian to ensure that you select a program that helps your best buddy feel his four-legged best.