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Arthritis is one of the many ailments shared by dogs and humans. In fact, canine arthritis is one of the most common reasons for veterinary visits in the U.S.
Signs of Dog Arthritis
Many arthritis symptoms are mistaken for signs of other illness. Afflicted dogs may have difficulty getting up, limp slightly, be less energetic and alert, and appear stiff. They may also gain weight, seem afraid to go up stairs or jump, be less playful, or otherwise undergo an attitude change.
If your pet shows these signs of dog arthritis for two weeks, take him or her in for a visit to the vet. Your dog’s doctor will perform an exam, which may include an x-ray.
Treatment of dog arthritis may include a change of diet and the addition of some exercise for weight management. Your vet will likely suggest a supplement including omega fatty acids or chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine.
Pain management can include a variety of prescription medications. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are the most commonly used, and your veterinarian may suggest using an over-the-counter remedy in conjunction with the prescription drug.
The key factors in ensuring your dog’s health, comfort, and safety when it comes to dog arthritis are twofold. Seeing your veterinarian as quickly as possible after noticing symptoms is essential to reducing or eliminating any pain your dog is experiencing. Only giving your pet medications prescribed or suggested by your vet, and only in recommended dosages, will prevent potentially serious drug-induced health complications.