If you are a beginner in terms of owning a dog, this issue may be unknown to you. But experienced dog owners very well understand that dogs are as prone to arthritis as humans. Thus, it is very essential to detect the first signs of arthritis in your dog so that the disease can be stopped from progressing, or at least slowed down. While a professional veterinarian would be the best person to check for dog arthritis, here are some symptoms which may help you to detect this disease at an early stage.
This is the most common symptom of dog arthritis and also, often the most ignored. Most people tend to associate the slowing down of their dog with age. However, that may or may not be the case. If your dog as started showing reluctance to exercise, climbing the stairs or other activities which it previously used to enjoy, taking it to the veterinarian is strongly advised.
Longer hours of sleeping
Have you ever noticed your old grandmother suffering from arthritis and how she is reluctant to get up from her bed in the morning? The case is pretty similar with dogs as well. If your dog is suffering from arthritis, chances are that it will start sleeping for longer hours than usual. It will be reluctant to get up in the morning when the muscles and joints are usually at their stiffest. Dogs usually follow a strict pattern of sleep and such anomalies are very easy to notice.
Hind legs close together
This one is a little tough to notice, but for discerning owners, it is not very difficult. If your dog is suffering from arthritis of the hips or in other joints in the hind side of its body, it will usually stand with its hind legs close together than its normal stance. The dog does that to shift its weight from its hind legs to its forelegs, which means that it is certainly experiencing some discomfort in its hind legs.
Licking their joints
Animals lick their joints or their body parts when they are experiencing discomfort. Same is the case with dogs as well. If they are experiencing pain in one of the joints, they may start licking it occasionally in order to get some comfort.
A stiff gait
This one is usually noticed by owners who are very attentive to their dogs. If your dog has started walking stiffer than usual, it is advisable to get it checked for arthritis as well as other ailments.