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Dr Fetcher


A guide for loving & responsible owners

Note: This blog post is for informational purposes only. It is important to visit a veterinarian for expert advice and diagnosis if you suspect arthritis or any other health problem!

Basic situation

As a dog owner, I’m sure that, like all of us, you want the best for your four-legged pet. Just like humans, dogs also have problems with locomotion and mobility. Although we have previously published a more detailed description of osteoarthritis HERE, now we would like to write separately about the initial symptoms of arthritis in dogs. What to pay attention to and when to start to suspect, because as a responsible owner, it is our job to keep the dog healthy.

Recognizing the initial symptoms of osteoarthritis is key to starting treatment in time and improving your quality of life. In this post, we present the most common symptoms so that you can act proactively and responsibly for the joint health of your four-legged friend.

1. Dramatic change in mobility

Notice the deteriorating change in your dog’s mobility. It could easily be that he moves a little stiffer, has more trouble getting up, has more difficulty climbing stairs or jumping onto the sofa. It can also be a sign if he is reluctant to go for a walk, or it is more difficult to get him to play. In this case, there is a high probability that he will experience discomfort in one of his limbs or hips and that he will show the initial symptoms of arthritis.

2. He limps or uses one of his legs noticeably a lot

You can easily recognize a limp in his movements, because he is trying to relieve the pain in his limb. Dogs can shift their weight to take less pressure off the sore limb. You have to pay attention to it, since unevenly distributed body weight does not have a beneficial effect on their body either.

3. Behavioral changes

The initial symptoms of cartilaginous arthritis can certainly affect your dog’s behavior. He may become irritable and restless, and his enthusiasm for activities that he used to enjoy may decrease. Your previously mobile and cheerful four-legged friend spends more time resting at this time, and may even noticeably withdraw from social interactions.

4. Decrease in the dog’s appetite

At first it is strange to imagine, but cartilage wear can also affect your appetite. If you notice that he is eating less or reluctantly, it could easily be the result of pain. It is important to point out here that this can indeed be a sign of another health problem, so as always, pay special attention to this symptom and definitely consult a veterinarian.

5. The dog chews and licks his leg

Quadrupeds often gnaw or lick their limbs in painful areas. If you notice that you excessively clean the area of a particular joint, it could even be one of the initial symptoms of arthritis. Of course, in this case too, there may be other kinds of problems in the background (e.g. allergies). Notice if this excessive licking or chewing is present at the joint and look for signs of swelling, redness, or tenderness.

Closing words

As a responsible owner, it is important to recognize the initial symptoms of cartilaginous arthritis in your dog, as this can be decisive for his well-being. By recognizing early complaints, you can consult a veterinarian in time to ensure the best possible quality of life for your four-legged companion. Remember that regular exercise, maintaining an ideal body weight and using the right nutritional supplements contribute to overall comfort and mobility. Make sure your beloved dog lives a happy and active life as free as possible from the limitations caused by cartilage wear.