As our dogs age, things that were once second nature can become a major effort.
You may notice that their leisure jog has become a stiff walk, or that they’re no longer able to effortlessly jump on and off of beds or furniture. And while there are solutions available to help ease the pain, or even to counteract some of the effects, you still need to be aware of what to look for.
Arthritis is one of the most common ailments in middle-aged to older pets. It causes changes within the affected joints that can be pretty painful for your pup. Below are seven of the most common signs of joint pain in dogs:
- Your dog seems irritable.
Arthritic dogs may become irritable and might bite or snap when he’s approached or handled. The likelihood increases in particular if the petting or handling is done in a manner that elevates their pain.
- They appear to be limping.
If you observe your pup limping or favoring one or more of his legs, that could be an indication that your dog has joint pain. In some cases, the limp may seem to worsen when your pet first rises, but becomes less noticeable as your pet “warms up” by moving around.
- Your dog is lethargic.
Your dog may tire more easily. Joint pain in dogs may mean that their walks become shorter, because the longer they walk, the more pain they experience. Your dog may spend more time sleeping or resting.
- There’s evident difficulty with him moving.
Your dog may find it difficult to get in and out of your car, or on and off of furniture. Perhaps you’ve noticed that he has trouble going up or down stairs, if so these are all telltale signs of joint pain in dogs.
- They have spinal issues.
Arthritic changes can occur not only in the legs, but also in various parts of the spine. These changes can result in a sore neck, a hunch in the back, or soreness of one or both hind legs.
- There is incessant licking, chewing and biting.
Pups that lick, chew, or bite on specific body parts repeatedly may be affected with arthritis. In some extreme cases, the skin becomes inflamed and hair loss is experienced in the affected areas.
- You’ve detected potential muscle atrophy.
Joint pain in dogs may manifest itself through the development of muscle atrophy, because of decreased use or inactivity of their muscles. You may notice that their affected legs will look thinner than their normal legs.