Arthritis is a condition affecting the joints of older dogs and some giant breeds. This is also referred to as osteoarthritis and can cause extreme pain in dogs, as one or more joints begin to wear away. Sometimes, it may be caused due to another condition, injury or genetics.
In some cases, obesity in dogs may also lead to joint disorders. The more weight the joints are required to support, the greater the damage. This condition is more common in giant dog breeds. If you notice any of these symptoms below, you should take your dog to the vet and get it diagnosed for arthritis.
Changes in movement
Your dog may not move as swiftly as it used to earlier. You may notice that he does not approach you quickly any more and is not as playful as he used to be. Your dog may have trouble moving up and down the stairs. He may not show interest in regular walks or exercises.
Your dog may want to spend more and more time at a quiet corner in the house than do anything else all day. He may be in pain and so, he may stop bothering you and wouldn’t like to be bothered either.
You may notice that your dog appears stiff when getting up or sitting down. The stiffness seems to go away after walking or warming up for a while. If the leg joints are affected, your dog may start to walk with a limp. In case of spinal joints, your dog may have difficulty with hind legs. You may notice that dog prefers to use one or more legs more than the others.
Sensitive to touch
Dogs become sensitive to the areas where there is joint inflammation. They may cry out in agony when you touch them or refuse to be petted when you approach them. Joints appear swollen as well and those may be problem areas.
Your dog may seem to lose patience with all the cuddles and showers of affection which you two usually share. The pain may cause them to become irritable and snap whenever you handle them or touch the most sensitive areas.
Constant licking and chewing
Dogs in severe joint pain try to always lick or bite onto the affected areas. This constant licking and chewing can also cause hair loss on their skin.