No one is more familiar with your dog than you are. Even though we are constantly in such closeness to our dogs, they nonetheless manage to conceal things from us in the most incredible ways especially when it comes to disguising joint pain, this is extremely important to remember. Two of the most important objectives of effective dog care are early recognition and the limitation of pain and misery. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to recognize the symptoms of joint discomfort in dogs until the problem has progressed to a more serious stage.
The majority of arthritic dogs never express their discomfort. You need to be familiar with the different kinds of joint illnesses to have a better understanding of the symptoms of joint pain in dogs. Inflammatory and noninflammatory illnesses are the two categories that can be used to classify the conditions that affect a dog’s joints. Dogs of all ages are susceptible to developing joint pain, which can negatively impact their quality of life and, if untreated, may eventually lead to more serious diseases and injuries.
It’s possible that you won’t even notice this pain unless you know just what to look for. Dogs of any breed or age can experience joint pain, although older dogs are considerably more prone to develop the condition as they become older. Joint discomfort can be very common in dogs. Dog owners may interpret this as a slowing down process; nevertheless, this can be caused far more commonly by pain in your pup’s joints than it can simply be caused by old age on its own. If this condition is not appropriately managed, it can frequently progress to additional injuries and conditions that are more serious.
What Are the Different Types of Dog Joint Pain?
Developmental Joint Issues
Your dog has a predisposition toward the development of joint problems from the moment it was born. In most cases, these problems are brought on by genetic disorders, which manifest themselves as abnormal joint development in young animals like your puppy. In the long run, this could result in more significant ailments, such as dysplasia of the elbow or hip, for example.
There are a lot of different joint problems that can affect different dog breeds, and all of them will make the dogs miserable. These problems are significantly more prevalent in dogs with higher body sizes, but they can occur in puppies of any size.
If you plan to buy a dog from a breeder, it’s a good idea to ask them about any hereditary predispositions to joint problems that their breed or lineage may have. This is especially important if you plan to buy an older dog. Although a reputable breeder should be able to provide you this information without being prompted, it doesn’t harm to ask just in case.
Degenerative Joint Issue
Your dog’s joints can develop degenerative disorders as a result of wear and tear from frequent use over time. These issues can manifest in several ways, including the breakdown of cartilage and damage to tendons. Problems with the cruciate ligaments are the type of joint troubles that occur most frequently.
These problems occur when the tissues of the cruciate ligaments degrade with time and with repetitive use, leading to more severe problems and discomfort as a result. When it comes to degenerative joint problems, the underlying reason can be all kinds of different things. They can range from traumas and osteoarthritis to more serious conditions like stress fractures.
However, this condition is more common in larger breeds of dogs since the additional weight places additional strain on the joints over time.
Signs Your Dog is Suffering from Stiff Joints
Inactivity in dogs is a symptom that can accompany abnormalities in an animal’s gait or stance. It is not a diagnosis in and of itself; rather, it is merely a clinical indicator of some abnormality in the way the dog processes their discomfort.
In the early stages of the condition, the symptoms are mild and include your dog needing a longer period of rest after going for walks or experiencing some stiffness after getting up from the ground. When the disease has progressed to a more critical stage, these symptoms become more pronounced and continue for a longer period.
Unwillingness to Move
Your dog may be experiencing joint pain if it is avoiding activities that it once found delightful or if it has stopped jumping on furniture. There are further examples, such as when the dog is unwilling to stroll up or down the stairs or when it lies down for extended periods.
Although it may appear to you that your dog is displaying signs of pain for no reason, this behavior is more than likely an indication of an advanced stage of disease affecting its system. Because the clinical presentation of pain in dogs can sometimes be similar to that of other pain-related illnesses, such as kidney diseases, in the early stages, it is necessary to not rule out these other diseases before proceeding with the diagnosis.
Unusual Stance While Moving
One of the telltale signs that something is wrong with your dog is that your dog walks with an unnatural posture. This aberrant stance is a form of paroxysmal dyskinesia. Canine joint discomfort can also be identified by changes in a dog’s gait and range of motion, which are both observable to the owner. An examination of the kinematic and kinetic aspects of the dog’s stride will reveal a wide variety of signs and symptoms.
When walking or running, an altered gait is often the asymmetric movement that is performed in the opposite direction of the typical gait pattern. When your dog is attempting to alleviate pain or weight on another extremity, you may notice that he or she limps or stops standing on one foot. This is one form of abnormal gait that can be recognized. When a dog is running or attempting to run, owners have the best chance of spotting an irregular stride in their pet. The altered gait that is seen in dogs the most frequently is commonly referred to as “bunny hopping.”
Increasing or Extending Sleep
The majority of people have observed that their dogs spend more time napping, particularly in the morning. They frequently have trouble getting out of bed in the morning. Because the effects of this might not be immediately obvious, you need to keep your senses sharp. They will likely behave differently if they are experiencing stiffness because of it. To be more specific, they are going to be sleeping significantly more.
A significant number of canines alleviate their pain by lying down and getting some rest. The stiffness that they are experiencing in their legs or back may be alleviated somewhat as a result of this. It is essential to keep in mind that the average dog can sleep for anywhere between 12 and 15 hours every day. This is frequently dependent on the breed, level of activity, and temperament of the animal. You are going to have a general idea of how long your four-legged companion typically snoozes throughout the day and how long they sleep at night.
Therefore, if you notice that they are sleeping for longer periods, it is probably time to make an appointment with the veterinarian.
Changing General Behavior
Canine joint discomfort may be the source of your dog’s rapid change in personality, which is another apparent symptom of the condition; nevertheless, before assuming this to be the case, it is necessary to rule out other alternative explanations. How your dog’s behavior shifts might change quite a bit, depending not just on the breed but also on the particular dog’s personality.
A significant number of dogs, especially older dogs and dogs of large breeds will experience some form of dysfunction in the locomotor system at some point in their lives. The majority of these conditions are typically curable with relatively low-cost drugs, dietary changes, weight loss, and physical activity. You will be able to find a solution to the issue so long as you are aware of the symptoms that indicate joint discomfort in dogs.