When will your dog show signs of arthritis?
- Did you know that different types of dogs get arthritis at different ages? Well, it’s true. Dogs do not all develop this condition at the same time. Not only that, it’s been studied by veterinarians from around the world and these studies suggest that there are many other factors that contribute to the age that a dog starts to develop arthritis.
- One major factor that has influence is genetics. It is important to mention this factor first because there is nothing you can do or undo when it comes to the genetic makeup of your dog. It may make sense why so many people take the time to thoroughly investigate a dog’s lineage before a purchase. This does not mean you can only own a purebred dog but it is worth the trouble to know the history of the dog you wish to purchase before money is put on the table. More importantly, before you fall in love with a dog that has some congenital defects that you cannot correct.
Arthritis Signs In Large Breed Dogs
- For large breed dogs, it is an excellent practice to monitor their joints, hips and other weight-bearing bones on a regular practice from a very early age. Even though some people insist that large breed dogs are the better way to go, these large canine companions often develop arthritis at a very early age because their skeletal systems go through a degenerative process much sooner than other sized dogs.
- This doesn’t mean you have to buy a pocket-sized dog just to avoid arthritis. The key here is maintenance. Have your dog checked by the veterinarian regularly for any slight problems such as stiffness of the joints. If you have a dog who has already developed arthritis, maintain regular visits to the vet and incorporate a healthy diet along with low-impact exercise that includes walking and swimming.
Arthritis Signs In Small Breed Dogs
- For small breed dogs, it is important to protect them from injuries or falls that can damage their bones and joints. Often these types of injuries are the direct result of small breed dogs developing arthritis at an early age. Keeping your little dog at an ideal weight is important also. Their small bones are not designed to support excess weight and the load can cause cartilage and tissue to deteriorate more rapidly in overweight dogs than in trim ones.
- Provide your small dog with steps and other assistance as needed to get from place to place. Some little dogs have very big personalities and will attempt to jump or “fly” where they want to go rather than bark or wait for someone to lift them up. Doggy steps prevent such escapades and can keep your little baby from having an accidental tumble down.
- For the most part, small breed dogs do not start to develop arthritis until around age seven or eight. This is not a golden rule however, and exceptions may arise with dogs who have genetic defects or those who are predisposed due to other conditions such as poor diet or lack of exercise.