As our dogs get older, they experience typical signs of aging, and sometimes that includes the common pain from joint problems. We hate to see our pets get older, and especially to see them in pain, but the good thing is there are things we can do to help our four-legged friends with these joint problems. There are two categories of joint problems: developmental and degenerative. Developmental problems occur when the joint does not develop properly. This is the case for hip or elbow dysplasia. Degenerative problems happen over time. Arthritis is a degenerative problem where the cartilage between the bones in the joint breaks down.
Signs and symptoms of joint pain:
· Trouble getting up or laying down
· Slow or stiff movement
· Difficulty climbing stairs
· Joint swelling
· Excessive panting
· Lifting/holding a leg off the ground
· Favoring one leg
Dogs with increased size and weight are predisposed to joint problems. However, all dogs can be affected by these problems. Good food and exercise can help with joint problems. Gentle exercise helps keep the joints healthy and improve mobility.
There are supplements that can help with joint care. Glucosamine, Chondroitin, Omega Fatty Acids, Vitamin E Selenium, and MSM assist in decreasing inflammation and improving the body’s ability to repair and strengthen tissue (PetMD). Glucosamine is a common supplement used to support dogs’ joint health.
Some of these supplements are not pain killers and won’t completely manage pain, but there are things you can give your dog to help them feel better. Aspirin, for example, is great for reducing inflammation and controlling pain.