VetVits January 03, 2017

Joint health is an important element of your dog’s health. When their joint health suffers, so does their quality of life.

With an average of 319 bones in the dog skeleton (allowing for variations between breeds), the potential for joint issues in dogs is manifold.

What do you need to look for?

Breed

The following breeds are known to be predisposed to arthritis and other joint issues:

  • German Shepherds
  • Golden Retrievers
  • Labrador Retrievers
  • Newfoundlands
  • Rottweilers
  • Mastiffs
  • Old English Sheep Dogs

Also take care with giant breeds such as Great Danes, Saint Bernard’s and Bernese Mountain Dogs and canines that are part of the chondrodystrophoid group (meaning dogs with short legs), such as Dachshunds, Bulldogs and Basset Hounds.

Seniority

  • 10-12 years of age for a small dog, like a Toy Poodle or Terrier
  • Medium-sized breeds at 8 years
  • Giant breeds at 5-6 years of age
  • As a rule of thumb, most vets consider a dog aged 7-8 years upwards to be a senior.

Physical signs

  • Less interest in play or walks
  • Difficulty in, or reluctance to, get up
  • Flinch at your touch (around their joints)
  • Irritability or change in their temperament
  • Licking, biting or chewing affected joints
  • Visible limping

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