Arthritis is a condition that can affect many dogs. It causes the joints to become inflamed and bones to rub together as your dog moves.
In some dogs, it will affect one joint but in other dogs, it can affect multiple joints. Sadly, arthritis can leave your dog in a lot of pain and discomfort.
There is a common misconception that arthritis only affects older dogs.
Whilst it does tend to be more prevalent in older dogs, problems with bone and joint development mean that it can start to develop in younger dogs.
In our guide below, we discuss the age at which dogs can start to suffer from arthritis. Recognizing the signs of this condition in your dog means that you can then opt for the best treatment for their needs.
Continue reading if you would like to find out more.
At What Age Do Dogs Get Arthritis?
Arthritis can affect dogs as young as one but it is more common in senior dogs aged 7 years and older.
Regardless of your dog’s age, if they have previously suffered from joint problems, they are at an increased risk of developing arthritis.
Also, puppies and dogs that are overweight are more likely to get arthritis. In young dogs, arthritis is usually caused by joint dysplasia.
This condition refers to abnormal growth or deformities that affect how well the joints grow and develop. In large puppy breeds, elbow and hip dysplasia are common.
These conditions can be worsened if you fail to exercise your dog properly.
Whilst hip dysplasia tends to affect the hind limbs, elbow dysplasia affects the front limbs.
Moreover, there are also certain infections that can lead to the development of arthritis but in most cases, it is likely to occur as a result of dysplasia or trauma.
What Are The Symptoms Of Arthritis?
Now you may be wondering how you can tell if your dog is suffering from arthritis. As we have mentioned, this condition can be very painful but it can also lead to a lack of energy and a change in mood.
If your dog does not seem as enthusiastic about walking or moving etc, they may have arthritis. You may also notice that your dog can no longer walk up and down the stairs with as much ease as they once would.
Your dog may start yelping when you touch them and this is likely their way of communicating with you that they are in pain.
You may notice that their cries are more prominent when you touch a certain area as the inflammation can increase the sensitivity of their joints.
Does your dog seem irritable or grumpy? If so, there is a chance that they are dealing with arthritis.
A dog that is constantly in pain as it tries to move, of course, is not going to be as happy and playful as they normally are.
Also, if they are constantly being handled or petted they may become a little snappy. This is certainly going to be the case if you are touching a part of their body that is particularly sensitive and painful.
Some dogs will appear to pay a lot of attention to joints that are causing them pain. For example, they may start licking or chewing on the spot that is giving them the issue.
In some cases, this may leave the area sore and inflamed.
A dog with arthritis may seem more tired than usual. Just like pain is tiring for humans, it can also be tiring for pets. Often they will choose to sleep rather than play and exercise.
If you suspect that your dog has arthritis, you must assess their behavior and take note of any changes. You should then make an appointment with the vet who will then be able to confirm whether arthritis is present.
Is Arthritis In Dogs Treatable?
Unfortunately, it is not possible to completely treat arthritis in dogs. Because it is a progressive disease, there are ways that you can improve their wellbeing and quality of life but there is not a complete cure.
Intervening during the early stages is going to make it easier to manage the pain.
If you fail to acknowledge the problem and let it get untreated, you are essentially going to subject your dog to pain and difficulties when attempting to walk.
Some supplements and products can help with arthritis. Those with nutritional value are going to work as an anti-inflammatory and will help to improve the state of your dog’s joints.
There are supplements available that are specifically designed for canine consumption as they come in the form of easily digestible capsules and pills.
If needed, your dog can be given nutritional supplements from a young age as they are not believed to have any long-lasting negative side effects.
Should you have any queries as to which supplements are best for your needs, you may wish to consult a professional for advice.
You should also focus on improving the physical health of your dog. As we have touched upon, obesity can cause arthritis.
Now, dogs that are in pain with arthritis are going to be less tempted to exercise so you will need to see what dietary changes can be made.
In terms of exercise, swimming is a fantastic way to ease arthritis in dogs. Not only will it help them to shift some pounds, but it also promotes joint movement.
Arthritis can affect dogs of all ages. Just because a dog is young, it doesn’t mean that they are not going to be affected by such conditions.
As previously mentioned, dogs as young as one can develop issues with their joints and they are likely to be prone to experiencing issues with arthritis in the future.
There are signs that you can look out for and ways that you can help your dog although the condition is not curable.