Answer: Senior pets are my favorite. They have dedicated their lives to loving their owners. When I look into their eyes, I see so much wisdom and kindness. They have earned their keep and deserve our full attention and care.
Yes, as dog’s age, their joints get wear and tear like we do, and they develop arthritis. The only way to confirm the diagnosis is with your veterinarian, so I would encourage you to make an appointment as soon as possible. After a diagnosis is confirmed, they will most likely discuss with you things like weight loss, exercise, supplements, and medications. Being overweight can be a real problem that is inflaming the joints. The skeleton is only designed to support so much weight, and anything over that causes the joints to inflame. A veterinary managed weight loss program is a good idea in these cases. Exercise is vital to keep from becoming overweight, but once overweight and arthritic, we need to manage the exercise and not overdo it.
Supplementation is often the first step in managing early, mild arthritis. There are many types, so please consult your veterinarian as to what are your options. If the arthritis is severe and very painful, supplements alone will not be effective, and you will need to add some prescription medication. Here again, there are many choices, and your veterinarian will help you with the best medication for your dog’s situation. The fact that you are asking this question means you love your dog, and I hope you follow some of this advice so that you and your vet can give you many more years of pain-free life with your dog.
If you have ever been around an older person with arthritis or joint issues, you know it can be painful. Pets cannot tell you, but they have pain too. Make sure you consult with your veterinarian to give your pet the best senior years possible.