Canine arthritis is one of the most common degenerative conditions in dogs, especially in the elderly and those who are overweight . When it occurs, there is degradation of articular cartilage and the creation of osteophytes that worsens over time if no treatment is identified and initiated. As with humans, arthritis in cans presents a series of symptoms that states that our dog has a health problem. Keep reading this article from UnComo and find out how to know if your dog has arthritis.
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1.- Although this degenerative disease can affect any dog, it is important that you know that there are a number of circumstances and risk factors that favor their appearance and development. The cans most likely to suffer from osteoarthritis are:
- Those over eight years old . More than half of cases of canine osteoarthritis range from nine to thirteen years of age. Over time, the joints and bone structures degenerate and are more likely to develop this type of disease.
- The big or giant . The larger the dog, the more weight they must hold the joints of their limbs, favoring their wear.
- Those who are obese or overweight . The joints must support a weight that is well above the ideal, causing an overload of the same.
In addition to these, it should be noted that there are some breeds with more genetic predisposition than others, such as the Labrador Retriever and the German Shepherd. Also, if the dog has suffered some type of joint surgery, the chances of suffering arthritis increase.
2.- The most common symptom in dogs that have arthritis is limp . If your dog does not walk as usual and you notice that he limps slightly of one of the legs or more, it is possible that he suffers from this degenerative disease and you must take him to the veterinarian.
3.- It is also common for arthritis patients to have stiffness on waking up and difficulties in getting up. Such stiffness may be more or less mild depending on the state of the disease.
4.- Chronic and persistent pain is another symptom of canine arthritis. When you feel a considerable pain in the joints when walking or moving them, it is normal that the dog begins to limp and to reduce its movements . Therefore, it is important to pay attention to the behavioral changes of our dog. If you were an energetic dog and, little by little, you have decreased the intensity of the exercise, stopped running or even walking, you may have some problem in the joints.
5.- In addition to reduced exercise and range of motion, you may notice if your dog suffers pain in the joints or not by palpation. If when you touch your legs your dog cries or makes a gesture that indicates that they hurt, it may be the cause is arthritis. Also, notice if licking or scratching feels any kind of discomfort.
6.- The state of discomfort can cause the dog a decay of the mood , as well as loss of appetite and, consequently, weight. In many cases, cans express the symptoms of pain through slight groans or light, but constant crying. However, many others do not externalize it, which makes it difficult for its owners to identify the disease. Therefore, it is important to look at the amount of food and fluids they ingest, as well as their mood.
7.- If you notice any of the above symptoms, do not hesitate to take your dog to the veterinarian to diagnose canine arthritis and initiate appropriate treatment. Normally, the specialist explores and examines the canine joints to check for pain and stiffness, and to be able to confirm or not the diagnosis. Because many cans do not exteriorize the pain and may take time to show the first symptoms, it is always advisable to examine them frequently.