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Help! My Senior Dog has Joint Pain

Great Dane peaking throught the hole in a chain link fence

Osteoarthritis, commonly known as Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD), is a progressively deteriorating joint inflammation caused by cartilage loss. Some senior dogs will have difficulty rising from a reclining posture as their arthritis worsens. Many owners consider arthritic symptoms as age-related slowness and dismiss them, but that’s not always the case. Read on to learn about the symptoms and possible treatments of osteoarthritis in senior dogs.

What are the Signs of Osteoarthritis in Senior Dogs?

Osteoarthritis is hard to identify in its early stages because it grows gradually. The symptoms typically do not appear until the afflicted joint has been severely injured. Some dogs are likewise stoic, hiding their anguish until it becomes unbearable. As a result, it’s critical to keep an eye on middle-aged to senior dogs, as well as those that are prone to osteoarthritis, for early indicators of illness.

Hip and elbow dysplasia and other bone diseases have a role in developing arthritis. Large dogs are more susceptible to osteoarthritis than small breeds because their heavier weight puts more strain on their bones and joints.

The following are some of the warning signs that indicate joint pain in a senior dog.

  • Squinting eyes, especially when accompanied by fast breathing, is a reliable symptom of discomfort.
  • Abdominal and back discomfort are frequently related to a hunched posture.
  • Obsessive grooming, specifically when it targets a specific body region. For example, if a dog licks the skin over a joint repeatedly, it may experience inflammation or pain.
  • Stiffness
  • Lethargy
  • Weight gain due to aversion to running, jumping, or playing
  • Irritability or behavioral changes when petted or touched
  • Loss of muscle mass in the limbs and spine

If you feel your dog is suffering from osteoarthritis, you should take him to a veterinarian for a comprehensive physical examination. That will include palpating your dog’s joints and determining their range of motion. Your veterinarian may also recommend X-rays of the afflicted joint to rule out other illnesses that cause similar symptoms. X-rays can also aid your veterinarian in determining the extent of joint injury.

What to Do if My Senior Dog is Losing Teeth?

Great Dane with its tongue out and teeth showing

Unfortunately, osteoarthritis is a chronic condition with no known treatment. The best method to maintain your dog’s joints and teeth healthy is to prevent osteoarthritis from developing. High-quality food, regular physical activity, and the use of preventative joint supplements are some of the effective remedies.

When osteoarthritis develops, the goal of treatment is to reduce pain and inflammation, improve quality of life, and delay the progression of the disease. It is usually treated with multiple therapies that are implemented simultaneously to get best possible results. The most effective remedies are as follows.

Use Supplements

Human hand giving a white dog a red and white supplement.

They are given to enhance function, decrease inflammation, and halt joint deterioration development. Both people and dogs benefit by using glucosamine and chondroitin in joint supplements. These supplements help by lowering inflammation, encouraging healing, and enhancing water retention in cartilage. It will give the joint more cushioning.

Green-lipped mussel (GLM) is another useful component for joint care in senior dogs. It contains includes several helpful nutrients, like omega-3 fatty acids, glycosaminoglycans, and antioxidants. GLM is a potent anti-inflammatory ingredient that can aid in the reduction of pain and the preservation of joint function. Joint supplements, like Glyde Mobility Chews, are often utilized as an early intervention and during osteoarthritis because they are safe for long-term use.

Feed a Vitamin-Rich Diet

Yellow lab eating from a stainless steel dog bowl.

Dogs, like people, require vitamins and minerals to flourish. Healthy, vitamin-rich meals are beneficial to both humans and dogs. A diet high in eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), an omega-3 fatty acid, has been shown in tests to reduce inflammation, prevent future cartilage degradation, and lessen arthritic symptoms in dogs. Consult your veterinarian for advice on how to increase the amount of EPA-rich foods in your dog’s diet. Vitamins are essential for the long life of teeth.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Black Chihuahua with a gray face sitting in grass.

It is critical maintaining a healthy weight and an active lifestyle for your dog, regardless of his/her joint health. Carrying too much weight on injured joints in dogs with osteoarthritis is not only unpleasant but can also hasten cartilage disintegration.

Obesity in healthy dogs can lead to an early onset of osteoarthritis and various other disorders. If your dog is overweight or obese, consult your veterinarian to formulate a suitable diet and exercise program for your pooch. It will also enhance his/her overall health.

Osteoarthritis is a painful ailment, but it can be controlled. Maintaining your dog’s mobility begins with keeping him at a healthy weight and recognizing early indications of joint discomfort. Weight loss lessens the risk of arthritis and teeth loss.

Provide Regular Exercise

Dog on a leash running down the beach

All dogs, regardless of their size, require exercise. It’s also ideal for dog owners to get some fresh air and stretch their legs. This interaction also offers a fantastic way to strengthen your relationship. It may also be a pleasant approach for you to help your dog with arthritis at home.

Short, gentle walks around the neighborhood will help your dog stay limber and burn more calories. Furthermore, these walks aid in the maintenance of muscle mass. This will provide support to the joints. Swimming is also an excellent low-impact exercise for arthritic dogs, and it may be a fun summertime treat.

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