Dog Joint Health
From jumping off platforms to chasing after tennis balls to performing amusing zoomies, dogs’ joints are known to take a beating. For some breeds, that’s a problem. Frequent joint use may lead to joint-related problems and injuries, e.g., osteoarthritis or ACL tears. It is important to note that some dogs do not yelp or hold its injured paw up when in pain. When it comes to joint problems, pet parents should take note of subtler signs like limping or suddenly slowing down. The latter is not always a natural consequence of aging.
The Importance of Healthy Dog Joints
Healthy joints allow canines to move freely, explore the world, and spend quality time with their owners. Without these joints, dogs would not have a firm skeletal structure. Maintaining problem-free joints is important as they act as a padding between bones. This way, dogs will not experience pain or injury when they change positions, jog, jump, run, and walk.
Elderly dogs typically suffer from bone degradation, arthritis, and various degrees of joint pain. These issues occur because the synovium – connective tissues that line the insides of joint capsules – can no longer produce as much lubrication as before. Because damaged cartilage is difficult to repair, the importance of dog joint health cannot be understated.
Common Symptoms of Joint Pain
Dog joint pain can cause chronic discomfort. Here are several symptoms to look out for:
- Depressed and lethargic: Dogs are naturally curious, playful, and energetic. When their abilities to enjoy activities are hampered by joint pain, their mood may spiral into depression.
- Licking, biting, or chewing painful joints: It is normal for dogs to lick their wounds to aid the healing process. If you notice that your dog is licking a joint more frequent than usual, it may be trying to relieve the pain it's experiencing in the affected area.
- Redness and swelling: Inflammation is the main culprit that causes joints to swell. Prevent further damage by treating these issues as soon as possible.
- Standing on front legs: Dogs with hip dysplasia choose to use their front legs while standing to avoid placing pressure on their hips and hind legs.
- Irritability: When your pet develops chronic pain in the knees or hip, it becomes increasingly difficult to stay in a good mood. Instead of wagging its tail when it sees you, your dog may ignore or snap at you upon interaction.
- Muscle degeneration: Inactivity can cause muscles around the affected joint to deteriorate. This occurs when arthritic dogs displace their weight to other legs to hide joint pain.
What are the Causes of Joint Problems in Dogs?
The main types of joint problems are degenerative and developmental. Degenerative issues cover cruciate ligament problems which are the most common causes of dog arthritis. In these cases, the ligaments of dogs may degenerate over time and lead to secondary osteoarthritis and instability. Developmental problems, on the other hand, cover issues like elbow or hip dysplasia. The joints of certain dogs may have been underdeveloped since puppyhood.
Consider Adding Dog Joint Supplements with Glucosamine to Your Pet's Diet
Luckily, glucosamine and chondroitin are compounds beneficial for dog’s joints and arthritis management. Supplements with these ingredients can help reduce stiffness and inflammation as well as form healthier cartilages to keep your dog’s joints cushioned.