Joint pain is one of the most common ailments in dogs of all ages. Arthritis and joint pain can affect dogs as young as one year old. An important part of caring for your dog is recognizing when your pet is in pain. Your veterinarian will be able to identify the cause of pain, and with the right treatment, you will ensure your dog lives a long, healthy life.
Joint pain in dogs: causes and symptoms
A variety of conditions can cause joint pain in dogs, including developmental and degenerative conditions.
The most common developmental problems are elbow and hip dysplasia. Hereditary factors play a role in developmental disorders.
Degenerative problems develop over time and dogs will experience more health issues as they age. One of the most common degenerative problems in dogs is arthritis. Osteoarthritis often results from wear and tear on the joints and ligaments. Arthritis is also linked to prior developmental issues, fractures, or the rupture of the cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) in the knee.
Obesity is a risk for dogs, mostly because of their size, which makes them more likely to be overweight. As a result, obesity shortens a dog’s life and makes it more prone to disease. Being overweight or obese puts more pressure on the dog’s joints, resulting in pain. It is therefore vital to make sure that your dog is at the correct weight, and this will also alleviate joint pain if it ever arises for any other reason.
Less Common Causes of Joint Pain
When the body’s own proteins destroy the synovial fluid in the joints, dogs may suffer from rheumatoid arthritis – an autoimmune disorder. The loss of fluid results in inflammation and a loss of cartilage. Therefore, treating rheumatoid arthritis early will ease the pain experienced by the dog.
A dog may also develop a leaky gut syndrome. A leaky gut occurs when toxins cause damage to the intestines. These toxins can come from food, the air, or the water. Toxins enter the bloodstream when the gut becomes damaged. As the immune system fights the toxins, it causes inflammation, especially in the joints, which are numerous in the body. In the absence of treatment, leaky gut syndrome may lead to prolonged organ failure.
Symptoms of Joint Pain
Imagine how you would move if your joints were achy and painful. You would tire more quickly, take longer to do normal activities, and you wouldn’t want to overexert yourself.
Your dog may exhibit similar symptoms. When your dog doesn’t want to climb the stairs, run or jump, this is cause for concern.
You must be able to spot the signs of joint pain in your dog so that it can be treated accordingly. Symptoms include stiffness, difficulty getting up or lying down, limping, and reduced interest in activities. Last but not least, watch out for joint swelling and behavioral changes. Painful joints are often licked or chewed. Pain may also make them irritable or aggressive.
Joint Pain Treatments
There is a wide range of treatment options available for joint pain. Various options are available. However, starting treatment as soon as possible is best for your dog.
The best course of action is to consult with your veterinarian first. To determine the severity of the problem, the veterinarian will perform a physical examination and take x-rays. Joint fluid will also be tested.
After the examination, you and your veterinarian will discuss the cause of joint pain and treatment options.
Medicine and Supplements
The best way to reduce inflammation in your dog is to remove toxins from his environment. To relieve joint pain, you can use natural supplements such as chondroitin, Dasuqui, and glucosamine. Omega-3 fatty acids and CBD-infused treats can also provide relief.
Consider changing your dog’s diet to make it more nutritious and include these supplements. Your veterinarian may prescribe medication or injections for your dog to ease its symptoms if needed.
Support at Home and Alternative Approaches
At home, provide your dog with well-padded bedding. Keep the sleeping area warm and dry. To make it easier to get around the house, you can use padded steps, non-skid flooring, and ramps.
You can massage your dog at home to stimulate blood flow. Using warm compresses, a specialist can teach you how to massage your dog properly. Cold laser treatments can also be used to stimulate blood flow.
Additionally, some rehabilitation specialists can provide your pet with physical therapy or hydrotherapy. Since joints are protected by muscle mass and movement, exercises like these can strengthen and increase your pet’s flexibility. Acupuncture, chiropractic therapy, and stem cell therapy are other options you can investigate.
Surgery can repair or replace joints and tissues in serious cases. The veterinarian can also perform a joint arthroscopic cleaning (washing out or cleaning the inside of the joints).
A Happy and Healthy Dog
After learning dog pain symptoms, you can identify when your dog needs to see a veterinarian. Additionally, you know what causes joint pain so you can choose a treatment that is right for your dog.
To prevent your dog from suffering from pain and to ensure a happy life, early intervention is crucial.