Is your canine buddy approaching his golden years? Fido will be just as cute as a senior as he was as a puppy! Your pet will slow down as he ages, and may develop a very calm, sweet demeanor that you truly enjoy. However, just like people, dogs often develop certain health problems as they grow older. Arthritis is one of the most common ones. Here, a Fort Collins, CO vet discusses arthritis in dogs.
While any dog can develop arthritis, some breeds do have a higher risk of it than others do. For instance, it is particularly common in retrievers and German Shepherds. However, there are also some additional risk factors that can increase the chances that Fido will become arthritic. Obesity is a big one. Infections, traumas, and joint abnormalities can also contribute to arthritis. Ask your vet for more information.
Arthritis often develops fairly slowly, but there are some ‘telltail’ symptoms to watch for. Limping is often one of the earliest warning signs that a dog is developing arthritis. At first, Fido may only limp right after he gets up, but that limp will become more pronounced over time. Reduced interest in play is another common sign. Your pooch may have trouble getting in and out of cars, or climbing stairs, if he has arthritis. You may also notice your canine friend licking or chewing his paws.
If you know or suspect that your dog is developing arthritis, contact your vet immediately. While arthritis cannot be cured, there are now many wonderful options for helping soothe pets’ pain. Ask your vet for specific recommendations.
In addition to making sure that your canine companion gets proper veterinary care, there are some small but significant things you can do to help your pup get around more easily. We recommend getting a good, orthopedic doggy bed, which will help your pooch sleep more comfortably. Pet ramps or stairs will make it easier for your furry friend to get in and out of the car, or climb onto the sofa. Last but not least, follow your vet’s recommendations for Fido’s diet and exercise regime. Good food and safe, suitable activity will both benefit your pet, and help keep that furry tail wagging.
Do you think your dog is developing arthritis? Contact us, your Fort Collins, CO animal clinic, today!