Do you think your senior dog is suffering from arthritis? What signs have you been noticing that have gotten you thinking it’s a possibility? Before you continue here, why not have a read of an article I wrote called “Arthritis Symptoms in Dogs.”
Causes of arthritis
- Many joint diseases are actually the result of a trauma, or minor injury, a dog sustained in the past, even at quite a young age.
- Cervical trauma caused by a walker jerking the leash around a dog’s neck, in a bid to stop him from pulling, or teach him to walk nicely.
- Lack of exercise – dogs need exercise every day, not just on the weekends. Putting an out of shape dog through a lot of physical exertion two days of the week, is an injury waiting to happen.
- Dislocated joint
- Strain on tendons and ligaments caused by excess weight
- Joint infection
- Bone fracture involving a joint
- Ageing and natural wear and tear
We have looked at the signs, and confirmed our dog is manifesting at least some of them. If your dog experienced an injury or trauma earlier in life, then it becomes more likely you will receive a diagnosis of arthritis.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We need to know what’s what, in order to design a plan of action.
Your vet will conduct a thorough examination, including physical exam, x rays, and any other tests he may feel are relevant. He will also have you walk your dog so he can look for any signs of trouble, or discomfort.
If you haven’t been with this vet long, he will ask about any injuries or traumas your dog may have suffered earlier in life. The possibility of inherited conditions will also be investigated.
If your vet has confirmed your dog is suffering from arthritis, the next course of action will be to devise a management plan so your dog is comfortable, and has a good quality of life.
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