Dogs are naturally energetic. Man’s best friends are always on the go. Some dogs would even retain their puppy-like exuberance into adulthood. Apparently, dogs have many similarities with humans as these animals are also weighed down with degenerative diseases. When we get older, our muscles and joints start acting up. Muscle pains and aching joints will be felt with each movement and getting up would be grueling especially on chilly mornings. It is common for people to attribute the aching muscles and the sore joint to old age but these can be symptoms of arthritis. This malady affects our dogs too. Arthritis is a common problem as it afflicts about 25% of dogs in the US.
Arthritis is either degenerative or inflammatory. This extremely painful and uncomfortable disease is commonly caused by the weakening of bones associated with old age. Other causes of joint instability are infection or traumatic injury. Obesity can cause arthritis too as the weight of the dog increases the concussive pressure on the joints.
Similar to people with arthritis, an arthritic dog’s mobility is as well impaired because of muscle pains and sore joints. Although dogs cannot speak about how they feel a discerning owner will know that the pet is not well. Moreover, the impaired mobility would also be a sign that the dog is suffering from the degenerative disease. Dogs would rather run instead of walk because these are very energetic animals. A dog suffering from arthritis would limp; have difficulties in climbing stairs or getting up after lying down because of stiff joints. In most cases, the dog would run a temperature because of the pain.
A vet consult is necessary so that appropriate treatment will be given to the pet. Pain medications will alleviate the discomfort of the pet but most anti inflammatory and steroidal drugs have side effects. An owner can opt for surgery to repair the joints or for acupuncture to alleviate the pain.
To help the pet an owner has to give the pet more TLC. Because of the pain the dog may refuse to move thus an owner has to coach the dog to exercise to retain joint flexibility. To help the ailing pet, a dog owner must ensure that it is comfortable. A well padded elevated bed will ensure the comfort of the pet. Massage is proven effective in reducing the discomfort of arthritic people thus a massage will be good for your pet too. It is a good opportunity to bond with the pet as well.