As a dog parent, nothing can be more disheartening than seeing your furry friend in pain. One such common health issue that afflicts our canine companions as they age is arthritis, a degenerative joint disease causing discomfort, inflammation, and decreased mobility. Understanding the symptoms of this ailment can help you provide the necessary care and alleviate their pain. An animal vet in Bradenton, FL, will be able to help you learn more about the signs, diagnose the condition, and provide necessary treatment.

Here are six signs your dog may be suffering from arthritis.

  • Reluctance to Move

If your once active and energetic fur buddy now hesitates to move around or play, then it could be a sign of arthritis. Dogs with arthritis often avoid activities they once enjoyed like running, jumping, or even simple walks. This reluctance stems from the pain and discomfort associated with movement, making them less enthusiastic about physical activities.

  • Difficulty Rising

Another significant sign of arthritis in dogs is their struggle to get up from a sitting or lying down position. In fact, you might be able to notice them having a hard time standing up after a nap or displaying stiffness after periods of rest. This difficulty arises from the inflammation and stiffness in their joints, making even the simplest movements challenging.

  • Stiffness After Resting

Post-rest stiffness is a classic symptom of arthritis in dogs. If your pet seems stiff or moves awkwardly after resting or sleeping, then it could be due to arthritic pain. This stiffness usually eases as they start moving around and “warm up” their joints, but it’s a clear indication that something is wrong.

  • Limping or Favoring a Leg

Arthritis often affects certain joints more than others, leading to noticeable limping or favoring of one leg. So, if your dog is consistently limping or avoiding putting weight on a particular leg, it could mean that the arthritis is more severe in that joint. This symptom should never be ignored, as it indicates significant discomfort.

  • Irritability or Changes in Behavior

Dogs suffering from arthritis may also exhibit behavioral changes. They may become more irritable, especially if the painful area is touched. Some dogs may even isolate themselves or show less interest in social interaction due to the constant discomfort they’re experiencing. So, any sudden changes in your dog’s behavior warrant a visit to the vet.

  • Difficulty with Stairs or Jumping

Arthritis can make it difficult for dogs to perform activities that require agility, like climbing stairs or jumping onto their favorite spot on the couch. So, if your pet seems hesitant to climb stairs or avoids jumping, then it could be a sign that they’re dealing with joint pain.