Humans aren’t the only creatures that have arthritis. Older dogs—and younger dogs with genetic predisposition—can develop painful joint inflammation. Unfortunately, pets can’t tell you about their discomfort. Here is a list of arthritis symptoms for you to look out for in your dog.
5 Signs Your Dog Could Have Arthritis
1. Mood Shifts
Even the gentlest dogs may show irritability when afflicted with arthritis. If your dog is normally calm but suddenly snaps at you while being handled, there’s a chance you touched or bothered the affected area. It may not seem like a big deal at first, but due to the potentially harmful causes of these behaviors, you should bring up grumpiness and unusual mood shifts with your veterinarian.
One of the most obvious physical signals of arthritis is difficulty getting up and walking. Your furry family member may seem stiff or wobbly while trying to get around, or they might be struggling to stand after lying down. If you find that they have a hard time doing things they used to do with ease, such as jumping up on the couch or using the stairs, it could be a sign of joint inflammation. Limping can also be a sign of something more serious, it shouldn’t be ignored or assumed to be arthritis. Please call us.
3. Behavioral Changes
Changes in your dog’s behavior can worry pet owners. Constant fatigue, frequent sleeping, and an unwillingness to go on walks are big red flags. This could be a sign that they don’t want to move around and bother tender joints. A loss of appetite can especially be a big problem, and if your dog is refusing to eat for more than 24 hours, you should take them to the pet clinic immediately.
Listen to your dog’s vocalizations. Whining when touched or trying to move is a clear sign that they’re in pain, and reduced barking could mean that the action is too much of a strain for them now. If barking regularly is routine for your dog, and straying from that behavior might mean something is wrong.
5. Licking & Biting
Inflamed joints are generally not noticeable or even visible to an outsider, so if you suspect your dog is in pain, pay attention to where they put the most focus. They might lick, bite, and chew at the joint in question. Even if you don’t catch them in the act, you might notice a saliva patch or hair loss where they’ve been gnawing.
Concerned about your dog’s recent changes in mood and behavior? The well-trained staff at Mt. Washington Animal Clinic can help. This full-service pet clinic provides each animal with exceptional care. They’ll help you determine exactly what’s going on with your furry friend, treat them efficiently, and offer advice on keeping them in top shape. To schedule an appointment, call (502) 955-6822.