Dog diseases

How To Know If Your Dog Has Arthritis

Max. D Gray
By Max. D Gray. Updated: January 16, 2017
How To Know If Your Dog Has Arthritis

Do you want to know if your dog is suffering from arthritis? Osteoarthritis is a disease that affects the joints. It is characterized by a degeneration and erosion of cartilage, as well as new bone formation on the edges of joints. If your pet suffers from this type of health problem, they may be suffering when trying to move around and may struggle with some of the most basic movements that they often do. In this article we give you advice as to how to tell if your dog has arthritis.

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Steps to follow:


Although age is generally believed to be a trigger of canine arthritis, age does not cause the disease. Osteoarthritis occurs due to abnormal wear of cartilage with the passing of time due to an existing disorder such as trauma, dysplasia, overexertion of joints and joint surgery, among others.

Canine osteoarthritis can occur when your dog is young as a result of some type of trauma or in dogs with a genetic deformity. Obesity is an influential factor, as being overweight can damage the joints.

How To Know If Your Dog Has Arthritis - Step 1

Osteoarthritis is a complex disease to detect as dogs tend to compensate for any changes by shifting their weight to a healthy joint, or by simply avoiding placing pressure on the damaged area. It is difficult to detect the disease in its very early stages and any pain or discomfort experienced by your dog may go totally unnoticed.

Often limps or any other changes that occur during the onset of the disease are seasonal and unclear.


It is quite possible for you to go out for a walk with your dog, play with them and not notice anything at all that may indicate any joint pain or discomfort. However, as osteoarthritis develops, symptoms usually worsen and the degree of joint degeneration and pain becomes more evident. From that point on, you'll see your dog constantly limping, wanting to move less and showing pain at the simplest and lightest touch of their joints.

How To Know If Your Dog Has Arthritis - Step 3

Besides limping, there are also other noticeable symptoms if your dog suffers from joint pain and osteoarthritis, which are as follows:

  • You'll notice that your dog finds it difficult to stand, sit or even lie down, and if they manage it, they'll do so with great difficulty in very awkward postures.
  • You'll see that your dog doesn't feel like going out or playing. They'll walk more slowly and struggle to keep up with you.
  • A loss of appetite is another of the most common symptoms, typically due to the pain and discomfort they experience.
  • Changes in their behavior are another indicator that helps to determine if they are suffering from osteoarthritis. They'll be more nervous, aggressive and irritable. They won't want you to cuddle or touch them like normal, especially near their joints where they feel any pain.

If you want to read similar articles to How To Know If Your Dog Has Arthritis, we recommend you visit our Pets category.

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How To Know If Your Dog Has Arthritis