It's a sad fact, but many people who look into the eyes of their faithful old dogs don't realize that their pets are suffering inside from the pains of arthritis. They just aren't able to tell you, so you need to watch for the signs. Have you noticed him slowing down from his younger frantic pace? Does he pass on the active play he used to love? It just could be that he's suffering from the very common doggie malady, arthritis. Larger dogs are more prone to get arthritis, and it's more likely to debilitate them than it is smaller dogs. However, any dog can get it.
Dogs experience the same progression of arthritis that people do. It starts with mild pain and swelling and then worsens over time. The joints are inflamed, and the cushions that once padded them have been destroyed. At this point, it's become a challenge for your dog to get around at all. He also suffers from damaged nerve endings which exacerbate his pain. He wants to frolic and play with you like always, but he isn't able to any longer.
Helping Your Dog Cope with Arthritis
It's sad to see your loving friend deteriorating before your eyes. With arthritis he's sleeping a lot more and likes to just lay and watch you rather than joining in playtime. As he experiences more and more pain, the more he will balk at any form of movement. The stairs he used to scramble up and down so madly won't even tempt him now.
If your dog is suffering from arthritis, he won't be able to do a lot of the things he used to do. If you want to take him for a ride, you'll have to lift him into the car, because he can't make the jump any more. You find that you're doing more and more for him. That means you should be taking him to the vet for a check up. Your vet will be able to diagnose his problems and make suggestions for treatment.
Taking Care of your Dog's Arthritis
You'll be glad to know that there are measures your vet can take to make your dog feel better. He can prescribe medications that work to relieve pain and swelling. No medication will reverse the damage that's already been done, but your pet will feel better, although he may experience side effects. Some pet medications come with a hefty price tag, but isn't the comfort of your baby worth it to you?
It's difficult seeing a beloved pet suffer the infirmities of old age. Your vet will be able to give you advice on how to make your dog feel as comfortable as possible. It's hard to accept that because of his shorter life expectancy, your dog has reached old age many years before you.
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