Even though nobody knows your dog better than you, dogs can be stoic making it challenging to spot early signs of joint pain. Young dogs will often happily continue participating in activities even when experiencing early stages of joint pain.
In this blog, we’ll explore the subtle hints our dogs may give us when they are experiencing joint pain.
1. Reluctance to Move
One of the first indicators of joint pain in dogs is a reluctance to move or play. If your usually energetic pup becomes hesitant to walk, run, or climb stairs, it may be a sign that their joints are causing discomfort.
2. Limping or Favouring a Leg:
Keep a close eye on your dog’s gait. If you notice them limping or favouring one leg over the other, it could indicate pain in a specific joint.
3. Stiffness and Difficulty Rising:
Does your dog seem stiff, especially after resting or sleeping? If they have difficulty rising from a lying or sitting positions, it could be due to joint pain, particularly in their hips or knees.
4. Behavioural Changes:
Dogs experiencing joint pain may display behavioural changes. They might become more irritable, restless, or withdrawn due to the discomfort they’re feeling.
5. Reduced Activity Levels:
A decrease in overall activity can be a sign that your dog is in pain. If they suddenly lose interest in their favourite activities or no longer greet you with their usual enthusiasm, it’s time to pay attention.
6. Yelping or Whining:
Dogs often vocalize their distress, and if you notice them yelping, whining, or vocalizing when touched in specific areas, it could be an indication of joint pain.
7. Reluctance to Jump or Climb:
If your dog is reluctant to jump onto furniture or climb stairs, it may be due to joint discomfort. Notice if they pause or hesitate before attempting such activities.
8. Muscle Atrophy:
Observe your dog’s muscles. If you notice muscle wasting or atrophy in specific areas, it could be a result of reduced use due to joint pain.
9. Licking or Chewing Joints:
Dogs may instinctively lick or chew at painful joints in an attempt to soothe themselves. Be cautious of excessive licking or chewing, as it can lead to further irritation.
10. Change in Sleeping Habits:
Joint pain can disrupt your dog’s sleeping patterns. If they have trouble finding a comfortable position to rest or they frequently shift positions during sleep, it might be a sign of discomfort.
Our pets rely on us to understand their needs and ensure their well-being. Spotting the signs of joint pain in dogs is essential for providing them with the care and support they need. If you notice any of the mentioned indicators, it’s crucial to consult your vet. Early detection and intervention can make a significant difference in managing joint pain and improving your dog’s quality of life.