Looking after our older canine friends

Arthritis in our older animal friends

Arthritis is a condition which causes an inflammation in the joints, which can make movement painful. As a result of inflammation, the joints can also weaken which is known as Osteoarthritis (a degenerative joint disease).

Even though dogs can get arthritis at any age especially if they’ve had an injury or problems with their bone development, it’s very common in older animals. Sadly, as their joints age so do their function which can cause pain.

Some of the most common joints affected are the hips, shoulder, elbows and knees.

Managing the symptoms can help like keeping their weight down and making sure they get daily exercise; your vet will also be able to help with advice and guidance including any treatments they may need to help ease the pain and help increase their movement.

Make sure they have exercise and a good healthy diet to help improve their symptoms.

Help make their home and environment easier for them to get around, like making sure they have a comfy bed that’s easy to climb into and out. Reducing the amount of pressure, they put on their joints will help reduce the pressure on their joints. Make climbing stairs and getting into cars easier by using ramps or small stairs.

Although there isn’t a cure, it can still be well managed which will help towards relieving their pain and by doing so support muscle mass.

Signs to look out for include;

• Slowing down
• Slower climbing stairs
• Tiredness
• Licking areas which are painful
• Limping or lameness
• Not wanting to play so much
• Avoiding going up and down stairs
• Avoiding jumping

If you notice any of these signs book them in for a check-up.

We know our dog better than most so if you are worried or notice anything that concerns you always speak to your vet for expert help and advice.