Many dogs develop arthritis as they age and others are unfortunate enough to suffer early onset due to a variety of reasons. If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog, it’s recommended to get them checked out by a veterinarian. That way, you can make sure to identify the problem and work at keeping your dog comfortable should arthritis be the problem.
#1 – Stiffness
Arthritis causes joint pain and the most obvious sign of the condition is stiffness. If you notice your dog is moving more slowly and seems to be stiff in the joints or the entire body, there’s a good chance arthritis is setting in and causing problems.
#2 – Reluctance to Move
Along with the stiffness comes the reluctance to move about. Some dogs won’t want to get out of bed or go for walks because their joints are hurting them. If you realize your dog is becoming less and less active, even if they still seem full of energy, it’s a good idea to make sure you check with your veterinarian.
#3 – Refusing Certain Positions
Depending on the location and severity of the arthritis, it may be uncomfortable for your dog to sit or lay in certain positions. You might notice they start to avoid sitting or laying down at all, even when you ask them to. Even trainers will tell you, if your dog starts displaying odd behavior such as this it’s important to get them to the veterinarian to make sure nothing medical is wrong.
#4 – Pain When Touched
Arthritis can cause pain not only with movement, but on palpation as well. If you notice your dog cries or shies away when being touched, it might be because a particular area is painful. Even light petting can cause pain in an arthritic dog. If you notice strange behavior when you touch your dog, definitely get them checked out by a veterinarian.
#5 – Avoiding Stairs & Jumping
Whether you’ve got an obedience or agility dog that’s used to running and jumping, a pup that’s been using stairs their entire life, or even just a lapdog that jumps on the couch, arthritis can affect them all. If you see your dog trying to avoid any sort of jumping or climbing, arthritis could be the cause. Be sure to check with your veterinarian.
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