Joint ache is one of the most common causes of chronic pain in dogs. According to studies, 20% of dogs experience joint pain that causes distress in their daily lives.
Joint pain tends to concern mostly older animals, however it can also affect younger dogs predisposed to the genetic condition.
Joint damage is irreversible, and while treatment can be provided to help alleviate some joint pain, they key is in prevention. Some animals will be unfortunate in being unable to avoid it, however, precautions can be taken to help prevent early onset.
Joint pain in dogs
The telltale signs of joint pain vary depending on the dog's breed, but some common signs include:
1. Placing the majority of bodyweight on the front legs
2. Hopping like a rabbit
3. Difficulties walking, climbing stairs, jumping or playing
4. Walking my slowly than usual
5. Difficulty sitting or standing up
6. Flinching when touched
7. Weight gain
Helping to prevent joint pain
Note that obesity is more common with sedentary dogs, and a lack of movement can bring about early joint pain.
Regular exercise will improve your dog's strength and mobility, and reduce the likelihood of joint problems in the future. This must also be accompanied by a balanced and healthy diet. Vitamins and minerals are extremely important to keep your dog in top form.
If you notice your dog has one or several of the above symptoms, it's important to take them to see your vet as soon as possible. He or she will be able to identify the issue/s and provide you with advice and/or medication to help alleviate pain.
You might also like to consider visiting an animal osteopath who is a specialist trained in the field of joint health and care.
Does your dog suffer from joint pain?