Osteoarthritis

courtesy of www.olddoghaven.org

We live in a society full of active humans and canine companions.  Dog parks and beaches are busy with active dogs swimming, running, and jumping.  However, as our active dogs age, they oftentimes start to get stiff and sore, and can develop osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disorder. While most owners associate a slowdown in their dog’s activity with old age, it shouldn’t be disregarded. Osteoarthritis affects weight-bearing joints, such as hips, knees and elbows. If diagnosed and treated,   dogs can continue to live active lives with osteoarthritis, even throughout their geriatric years.

Signs that your canine companion may be suffering for osteoarthritis are:

-Increased stiffness

-Difficulty to rise after resting

-Difficulty jumping

-Difficulty or resistance to go up or down stairs

-Limping after exercise

-Sensitive to touch, possibly growling or whimpering when touched

-Increased stiffness or soreness during cold weather

All dogs, no matter what size or breed, are susceptible to osteoarthritis.  Some breeds, such as Labrador Retrievers and other large breed dogs, are more prone to joint problems.  Also, overweight dogs are more likely to suffer from osteoarthritis.

If you believe that your dog may be suffering from osteoarthritis, please schedule a consult with your veterinarian to discuss possible remedies.  Not only are various maintenance methods available to help with symptoms, but there are also prescription medications, specialized food and supplements that help maintain proper joint health that will allow for your dog to live an happy, healthy and active life throughout all their years.