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Early Warning Signs of Arthritis in Dogs

As you may know, our canine friends can develop many of the same medical issues as people can. One condition that is quite common in dogs—particularly senior dogs and large breeds—is arthritis. While arthritis can’t be cured, it can be treated. However, when it comes to treating medical issues in pets, the sooner an issue is diagnosed, the better. Therefore, it’s very important to watch for symptoms of illness in your pet. As your Marion, IA vet, I am always happy to help! Read on to learn about some early indications of arthritis in dogs

Limping

Limping is one of the most common symptoms of arthritis in dogs. At first, Fido may only limp for a few moments, usually when he first gets up. However, as his condition worsens, the limp will become more pronounced.

Chewing/Licking

Dogs often lick or chew at spots that are hurting them. If you notice Fido nibbling at his paws, legs, or hips, arthritic pain could be the cause.

Reduced Interest in Play

It’s normal for dogs to slow down as they age, but adult pooches should still have their playful moments. If your pup seems to have lost all interest in playing, running, or jumping, he could be developing arthritis.

Grumpiness

Just like people, dogs can get cranky when they don’t feel well. If Fido seems uncharacteristically crabby, he may be in pain.

Reduced Mobility

Dogs with arthritis often have trouble climbing stairs, jumping on and off beds or couches, or getting in and out of cars. Fido may also take longer to sit, lie down, or stand up than he once did.

Less Energy

Instead of bounding around the yard chasing squirrels, dogs with arthritis may simply stretch out and take a nap. Fido may also not be as energetic on his walks as he once was.

Weight Gain

Weight gain is another red flag. As arthritis progresses, it will make moving and playing more difficult for Fido. As a result, he may gain weight, which will in turn aggravate his condition by putting additional stress on his bones and joints.

Abnormal Gait/Posture

Fido may move stiffly, and may sit or stand in awkward positions, if he has arthritis. He may also change his gait.

Do you know or suspect that your dog is developing arthritis? Contact me, your local Marion, IA veterinarian, anytime!

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