THE COMMON CONDITION: OSTEOARTHRITIS
This post is written in collaboration with Zoetis Petcare. All opinions are my own.
Dog parents care a whole lot about their pets. And why wouldn’t we? They bring so much joy to our lives!
We want our dogs to feel good, behave nicely, and look great. So, we spend a lot of time (and money) feeding our pets great food, implementing fun, positive reinforcement training sessions, and making sure their hygiene is up to par.
As our dogs age, being a dog parent takes on a new meaning as our pups inevitably face health struggles.
However, there are a number of physical ailments that can go unnoticed. They can be written off as general aging, while there is a more severe underlying issue, and may be able to be treated.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a condition caused by the wear and tear of the cartilage in the joints of your dog.
OA can cause your dog to feel pain and dramatically affect their quality of life. And occurrence of OA isn’t uncommon.
About 37% of dogs (all ages and breeds) will get osteoarthritis.1
Now, I am not a veterinarian. As I mentioned, I am just dog parent like the rest of us. So, I can’t speak to all the medical jargon of osteoarthritis.
While your veterinarian can advise on different treatments to help manage OA, I want to visit how dog parents can better spot the signs of this often painful condition.
Dogs can be masters of hiding their pain. Animals do not often “show their weakness” as a form of protection. This means dog parents must be in-tune with their pup’s normal behavior in order to better spot atypical behavior…and who better than us will notice subtle changes!?
Because OA can come on slowly, dog parents may not notice the signs right away.
I suggest dog parents look out for the following symptoms:
Slow to lay down or rise when previously had no issue.
Any type of limping – even if the limping subsides after a few minutes of activity.
Hesitation or refusal of jumping, walking, or climbing.
In addition to talking with your veterinarian, I also suggest reviewing this quick and easy checklist from Zoetis Petcare to see if your dog is showing signs of OA [OAchecklist.com]. Take this quiz with you to discuss the results with your veterinarian.
Today, my dog Callie is healthy and (super) happy. I want to do everything I can to keep her that way. I don’t think I’m the only one, and in my book, that makes us as good dog parents.
Keep an eye on your dog and report any abnormalities to your vet!
1 Wright, A., Amodie, D., Cernicchiaro, N., Lascelles, B. and Pavlock, A., 2019. PVM1 DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT RATES OF OSTEOARTHRITIS IN DOGS USING A HEALTH RISK ASSESSMENT(HRA) OR HEALTH QUESTIONNAIRE FOR OSTEOARTHRITIS IN GENERAL VETERINARY PRACTICE. Value in Health, 22, p.S387.