As we talked about indoor dog exercise a while back we mentioned running up and down staircases. We mentioned then that this exercise method is bad for older dogs or dogs that are prone to joint pain. However, let’s now delve deeper into the subject. What are the main signs that your dog has joint pain?
- Your dog has problems getting on and off the couch/bed/sofa. We’re used to ignoring it when older dogs take more time to get on or off their spot on the couch, but this can mean more than just tiredness. It’s highly likely that your dog is in a lot of pain and is just hiding it.
- Your dog is having troubles with stairs. If your dog needs to go up and down stairs every day, chances are that you might need to look at his joints soon. Especially if he starts exhibiting some problems going up and down the staircase.
- Your dog starts to run less. We tend to associate this with old age too, but it may be just joint pain. Older dogs from certain breeds love to run a lot as long as they are healthy.
- Your dog has lost all desire to play fetch and other physical games. Dogs are playful in nature even in their old age. That is, as long as they are not in physical pain.
- Sleeping and sitting in odd positions. We can view it as something cute when our dogs start sleeping in weird positions. And cute it is. But it can also be one of the signs that your dog has joint pain and can sit in his typical position without experiencing pain anymore.
- Irritability. We get cranky when our joints hurt and so do dogs. Don’t get mad if your dog is acting up – instead, see if there isn’t a physical reason for that irritability.
- Depression. Dogs tend to hide their physical pain as to not show weakness in front of their pack. But if the physical pain persists they can easily lose hope that it will pass and get depressed.
- Sore neck, back hunch, and other spinal problems. Legs aren’t the only parts of your dog’s body that have joints. A lot of dog breeds can develop joint problems on their spine.
- Limping. This is less of a sign and more of a “final stage” kind of thing, but if your dog’s joints hurt too much he will soon start limping to prevent pain.
- Whimpering. As much as most dogs prefer to keep their pain to themselves, as it becomes intolerable your dog will eventually start whimpering.
These are the main signs that your dog has joint pain. Joint pain can be caused by a lot of different things, from internal diseases to external trauma. In either case, the first thing to do after noticing any of these signs is acknowledging the problem and getting your dog to the vet as soon as possible.