When my dog started to reach year 10, I noticed his once energetic self change. He was sluggish. He didn’t have the same jump when I’d throw around his dog toys. In fact, he often would look at me, annoyed, that I would even throw the toy in his general direction. So I said ok, something must be up. Sure enough, I found what the problem was– osteoarthritis. My poor dog didn’t want to play. Heck no, instead, he wanted to lay down and avoid movements as much as possible to keep his swollen joints from hurting any more.
So What is Osteoarthritis?
In dogs, like in humans, cartilage act as small cushions of muscle that help prevent joints from rubbing against each other. When dogs age, these cushions start to deteriorate, causing joints to rub against one another and become inflamed. Over time, the inflammation will affect the limbs and lower back, according to the American Kennel Club.
Common Signs of Osteoarthritis
- Avoiding standing, walking, running or jumping
- Increased irritability
- Pain when rubbing or touching
- Signs of pain while posturing to pee or poop
- Loss in muscle mass
If you’ve noticed any of these signs, it might be time to research some ways to reduce osteoarthritis to help your dog cope. With some joint supplements or even pain pills, your dog can cope with the issue. For younger dogs, a healthy diet and plenty of exercise too can help prevent osteoarthritis.