Unlike humans, dogs cannot vocalize to us when and where “it hurts”, so all too often early signs of Canine Osteoarthritis go unnoticed, resulting in delayed treatment. Sadly, some dogs go not just days or weeks with pain, but they commonly will go months and years before their pain becomes so severe that it’s apparent something is wrong.
However, if we know what subtle changes in our dog’s behavior we should be looking for, we can then pick up on indications that they may be painful. Take a few moments and ask yourself these quick questions about your dog:
“Does my dog hesitate before jumping onto the furniture? Does he pause before leaping into the car?”
“Have I noticed some changes when he goes up or down stairs? Is he only taking one step at a time instead of bounding leaps?”
“Does my dog seem to lag behind during our walks; no longer pulling my arm out of its socket?”
“How about when rising or walking, does he seem stiff or shaky? Am I noticing him limp more often after actively playing or exercising?”
If you answered “yes” to ANY of these questions, your dog may be suffering from Canine Osteoarthritis (OA for short).
Canine OA is a painful disease that causes inflammation and swelling in a dog’s joints, stopping him from being active. In fact, according to a publication by the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, VA-MD Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, Canine Osteoarthritis is the most common cause of chronic pain in dogs, affecting 1 in 5 adult dogs in the US. No one, dogs included, should have to suffer in silence. Please spend the next 2 minutes and 49 seconds watching this video, “In Silence by Canine Arthritis Management” on youtube.com… it will totally give you the feels…
Canine OA does not just affect older dogs. It can occur in any dog at any age. The misconception that it’s an “old dog disease” probably stems from the unfortunate fact that over half of the dogs living with Canine OA weren’t diagnosed until later in life. So how long were they having to deal with their pain before they started to receive relief from treatment? 80% of dogs over 8 years of age are diagnosed with OA, which sadly is a major cause of elective euthanasia. Early diagnosis can help with managing Canine OA pain, and get your dog back to doing the things he loves. Here at the Animal Health Clinic, we want to help you help your dog. It’s important to treat Canine OA at the earliest diagnosis. Something easy that you can do as the first step to helping your dog is to go to https://galliprantfordogs and fill out the Osteoarthritis Report Card to identify risk factors and changes in activity or behavior that may reveal subtle signs of OA pain. When you’re finished, you’ll have a report card that you can print out or email to us (email@example.com). This can be a valuable tool to start the conversation with one of our doctors about Canine Osteoarthritis and together we can determine how best to help your dog and getting him back to loving life.