Dogs and Arthritis: What You Need to Know

Humans aren’t the only ones prone to achy joints as they get older. Arthritis is also a significant issue for dogs, especially older dogs. Consider all of the running and jumping your dog does in a single day, and it is easy to see how his or her joints can become damaged from just ordinary wear and tear. Fortunately, there are many things you and your veterinarian can do to help your pet overcome the pain and stiffness of arthritis. Here are the facts every dog family needs to know.

What causes arthritis in dogs?

Most cases of arthritis in dogs are due to either developmental issues or wear-and-tear injuries. Developmental issues, such as hip dysplasia, occur when any kind of problem with the development of a joint occurs. Wear-and-tear injuries lead to osteoarthritis and are caused by years of just being an active dog. Cruciate ligament problems are closely related in that they can come about from routine use of the back legs.

What are the signs?

If your dog has arthritis, you’re likely to see him or her having increased difficulty doing things that were once normal. For instance, your dog may suddenly – or gradually over time – struggle to jump up on the couch or use the stairs. A once playful dog may become reluctant to play or may tire out more easily. Without treatment, these symptoms can lead to chronic low grade pain with periodic worsenings or flare ups. It is important to see your veterinarian if your dog has arthritis symptoms, as early intervention can slow the progression.

What treatments are available?

There are a number of ways your animal hospital can treat arthritis in your dog. Cold Laser therapy is one of the most advanced and newest ways to control pain without side effects, tons of medications or invasive treatments. Medications and dietary changes may also be helpful for many dogs. Overweight dogs can benefit from weight loss to reduce the pressure on the joints. In some cases, surgical and physical therapy are necessary.

At Chastain Veterinary Medical Group, we offer cutting-edge therapies for a range of conditions at our pet hospital, including cold laser therapy and surgery for arthritis. If your dog has arthritis symptoms, make an appointment at our veterinary clinic in Dallas or McKinney today by calling (972) 239-1309 for Preston Road Animal Hospital in north Dallas or by calling (972) 529-5033 for Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in the McKinney / Frisco area of Texas.

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