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Joint Pain in Dogs - Signs, Causes & Treatment

Joint pain in dogs can significantly impact their quality of life. In this blog post, our vets in North Fort Myers will discuss how to identify joint pain in dogs, ways to help them, the common causes, when to seek professional help, and urgencies to be aware of.

How do you know if a dog has joint pain?

Identifying joint pain in dogs can be challenging, especially since dogs often hide discomfort. Here are some signs that may indicate your dog is experiencing joint pain:

  • Limping or Lameness: If your dog favors one leg over the other, it may indicate joint pain.
  • Stiffness: Especially noticeable after rest or sleep.
  • Reluctance to Move: Hesitation to climb stairs, jump, or play.
  • Swelling: Around the joint area.
  • Behavioral Changes: Increased irritability, depression, or aggression.
  • Difficulty Rising: Struggling to stand up after lying down.
If you notice these behaviors in your dog without an obvious cause, it might be time to bring them to your North Fort Myers vet to examine them for joint pain and its underlying conditions.

What causes joint pain in dogs?

Joint pain in dogs can result from various conditions, including:

  • Osteoarthritis: A degenerative joint disease that causes the cartilage to wear down.
  • Hip Dysplasia: This is a genetic condition where the hip joint doesn't fit properly into the hip socket.
  • Elbow Dysplasia: A developmental condition affecting the elbow joint.
  • Injuries: Sprains, strains, or fractures.
  • Infections: Bacterial or viral infections affecting the joints.
  • Obesity: Extra weight puts pressure on the joints.

How can you help a dog with joint pain?

The approach to each dog's joint pain is unique. To create a treatment plan, your vet must examine your dog to identify the underlying causes of its joint pain. Conditions like hip or elbow dysplasia may require surgical intervention. In contrast, if caught early, some degenerative joint conditions can be treated with nutrition, rehabilitation, and exercise as your vet prescribes.

Most treatments will also involve evaluating your dog's weight and size. If your dog is overweight, it is placing additional strain on its joints, and a diet may be recommended to help alleviate the burden on their pained joints.

While the specific treatment may vary, the primary objective of addressing joint pain in your dog is to restore their regular mobility and level of activity. This is particularly crucial as well-developed muscles around your pup's joints can help diminish the stress and strain on their joints. An active dog is a healthy one.

Cold Laser Therapy for Joint Pain in Dogs at Van Roekel & Associates

Cold laser therapy is a non-invasive treatment our vets in North Fort Myers  offer to alleviate pain and reduce inflammation while facilitating healing in dogs with joint pain.

This treatment involves using a handheld device emitting low-level lasers. The light emitted penetrates the skin and tissue, stimulating cellular activity and enhancing blood circulation in the affected area.

The treatment sessions are typically short and generally safe, with no reported side effects.

When to Seek Professional Help

Always consult a veterinarian if you notice any signs of joint pain in your dog, such as visible discomfort, validation of pain, swelling around the joint, or fever. This could be a sign of infection.

Early intervention can prevent further deterioration and improve your dog's quality of life. A professional at an animal hospital in North Fort Myers can provide a comprehensive diagnosis and tailor a treatment plan specific to your dog's needs.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. Please make an appointment with your vet to accurately diagnose your pet's condition.

Do you think your dog's joint pain could benefit from seeing a veterinary specialist? Contact our pet hospital in North Fort Myers vets for more information.

New Patients Welcome

We are accepting new patients at Van Roekel & Associates! Our veterinary team is dedicated to the care of North Fort Myers dogs and cats, horses, and farm animals. Reach out today to book your animal's first appointment.

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