If your dog is grumpy or limping, aching joints could be to blame
HUMANS AREN’T THE ONLY ONES
who can get arthritis. Watch out for these signs in your pet.
When it hurts to get up, a dog will move more slowly to avoid pain, says veterinarian Dr Katy Nelson. If you aren’t keen to give your dog drugs, other treatment options include hydrotherapy, acupuncture and massage.
Less movement means less arthritis pain. That’s why some dogs, especially smaller breeds, will change their stance to ‘bunny hop’ down the steps, says Dr Nelson. “If your dog is reluctant to jump up or go up stairs, it could be the hips that are affected. If your pet hates going down the stairs, it could be a sign of arthritic shoulders or elbows.”
CHANGING GAIT OR POSTURE
Some canines with arthritis will limp, but others will have subtler gait changes. The dog’s head might start to bob because the weight is forward. Or, it might leave its rear a little lower or hold its stomach differently.
Getting up to eat might not be worth the pain if your dog has bad arthritis. If you have a big dog with an arthritis diagnosis, elevate its bowl off the ground so it doesn’t have to bend to the floor.
Moving less could make your dog lose muscle mass or gain weight. Carrying extra weight puts stress on your dog’s joints and causes inflammation. To help your dog lose weight, try swapping its long walks for short bursts of exercise or swimming.
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