Growing old with grace and slowing down is one thing…

Seeing your dog in pain as a result of aging and arthritis is another!

Is Your Senior Dog “Just Slowing Down” or is he in Pain?

Most pet owners don’t recognize chronic pain for what it is. Instead, they believe their pet is “slowing down” or “just getting old”. However, “slowing down” may mean your dog is in pain and is having a hard time moving.

Dogs are very good at hiding their pain due to their survival instincts (it’s dangerous to let others know that you’re wounded) so you must keep an eye out for the signs of pain.

Other signs that your dog feels pain or discomfort include:

• Not as active as they used to be

• Reluctant to go on walks

• Interact less with other dogs and people in the home

• Some will eat less and loose weight

• Reluctance or difficulty going up and down stairs or in and out of vehicles

One of the causes of canine pain is arthritis. It’s very common too; did you know that one out of every five dogs suffer from arthritis? That is over 11 million dogs. Arthritis can affect dogs of any age or breed, but certain risk factors increase a dog’s susceptibility to the disease.

What are risk factors for arthritis?

First – genetics. Some dogs have a genetic predisposition to the disease and are far more likely to develop arthritis in their lifetime. Up to 70 percent of dogs in specific breeds, including Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers and German Shepherds, will be affected by canine arthritis.

Another risk factor is obesity. Studies show that obese dogs are likely to develop osteoarthritis three years earlier, on average, than lean dogs. The more weight that a dog carries on their body, the more stress placed on their bones and joints. If your dog is overweight, speak to your vet about a diet.

If you believe your dog is in pain, contact us immediately. If arthritis is diagnosed, the disease can be treated with diet, exercise, pain control medications and dietary supplements. In addition, the Animal Hospital of Polaris offers a Laser Therapy treatment that has proven successful in reducing pain, alleviating inflammation and increasing mobility.

Contact us today at (614) 888-4050 to schedule an appointment and discuss your pet’s health with your veterinarian.

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