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How to Spot and Treat Hip and Joint Pain in Dogs

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How to Spot and Treat Hip and Joint Pain in Dogs

Hip problems, joint pain and arthritis in dogs can leave once-active pets unable to enjoy their once-favorite activities, making it difficult for them to do everything from joining you on the sofa to taking a walk around the block. Fortunately, joint pain relief for dogs is available to address symptoms and allow pets to lead happier, healthier lives. 

The first step toward getting help for your pet is being able to notice the signs of hip and joint pain in dogs. This guide explores common warning signs and introduces remedies for joint pain in dogs to answer the common question, "What can I give my dog for joint pain?" 

 

Signs/Symptoms of Hip and Joint Pain 

 

Joint and hip problems in dogs are often easiest to treat when caught early, making it important that you can spot the symptoms of hip and joint discomfort and signs of arthritis in dogs. Some of the most common signs and symptoms include: 

  • Lethargy: A dog experiencing joint or hip discomfort may not show interest in activities or rest more than they once did. 
  • Stiffness and limping: Inflammation related to hip and joint problems can cause pain and stiffness, leading to changes in your dog's gait, limping or dragging one foot while walking. 
  • Loss of appetite: Chronic joint or hip pain may lead to changes in appetite, causing a dog to show less interest in food, eating less during meals or avoiding eating entirely. 
  • Irritability: A dog experiencing hip or joint pain may become irritable and more prone to growling and nipping. 
  • Slipping: Dogs experiencing joint pain and stiffness may slip on slick surfaces that they once were able to safely navigate. 
  • Bunny hopping: Dogs with hip dysplasia may appear to hop while running. 
  • Repetitive behaviors: A dog repeatedly licking, biting or chewing on a particular area may indicate that they're experiencing joint or hip discomfort. 
  • Reduced mobility: Hip and joint pain may make it more difficult for dogs to jump onto furniture, walk upstairs or move in other ways throughout your home. 
  • Difficulty changing positions: A dog with hip pain may struggle to stand up after laying down or have difficulty sitting. 

 

Causes of Hip/Joint Pain 

 

Age, genetics, weight, breed and lifestyle can all increase the risk of dog hip pain and joint pain. Discomfort can occur to a variety of conditions, including: 

  • Arthritis: Usually associated with age, arthritis occurs when cartilage breaks down in the joints, causing bones to rub together and triggering inflammation. 
  • Hip dysplasia: Most common in large and giant breeds, hip dysplasia happens when the hip joint loosens, leading to muscle atrophy and arthritis. 
  • Developmental joint issues: Joint issues present from birth can negatively affect dogs' growth. These conditions are usually genetic and more common in certain breeds. For example, Rottweilers are predisposed to ankle and knee developmental joint problems. 
  • Cruciate ligament problems: In some dogs, the two bands of tissue that cross over the knee, known as the cruciate ligament, begin to break down with age, causing joint pain. As with development joint issues, these problems are more likely to occur in certain breeds, such as Golden retrievers, Labrador retrievers, Newfoundlands, Rottweilers and German shepherds. 
  • Injuries: Injuries can lead to short-term hip and joint pain in dogs. 

 

How Hip and Joint Pain Is Diagnosed 

 

Although you may suspect that a dog hip injury or joint issue is responsible for your pet's symptoms, the only way to know for sure if your dog has a problem is to see your veterinarian. Many of the signs and symptoms of joint and hip pain can be caused by other conditions, such as spinal problems or neurological issues, making it important that you receive an official diagnosis. 

During your visit, the vet will examine your dog, feeling their hips and joints. They may also manipulate your dog's legs to check for range of motion. Coming prepared with a list of the symptoms that you've noticed can aid in the examination. 

In most cases, an exam alone won't be enough to determine the cause of hip and joint pain. Your vet is likely to order imaging tests like x-rays. They will also typically perform a urinalysis and blood work to rule out other health problems. 

 

Potential Treatments 

 

After reviewing the results of all tests, the veterinarian will discuss the best dog hip and joint supplements and treatments for your pet based on their official diagnosis, age, breed and health history. Some potential treatments include: 

  • Physical therapy: Exercises, massage and other techniques performed by a physical therapist may help provide dog hip pain relief and joint pain relief. 
  • Acupuncture: Derived from Ancient Chinese Veterinary Medicine, acupuncture involves inserting small needles into the body to improve blood flow and ease inflammation. 
  • Anti-inflammatory medications: Your vet may prescribe medications to reduce inflammation and ease joint discomfort. 
  • Surgery: For hip dysplasia and other conditions, surgical procedures may be necessary to repair damaged areas. 
  • CBD oil: Studies have found CBD oil may reduce inflammation in the joints, leading some vets to recommend CBD for dogs' arthritis pain. If you want to try CBD for dogs with joint pain, consider Kradle products. Our Hip & Joint Chews and Hip & Joint Spray contain broad-spectrum CBD oil plus a proprietary BotaniTek blend of proven natural calming ingredients. 

Your vet may also recommend lifestyle changes, such as gentler exercise, modifying your dog's diet to include more anti-inflammatory foods or controlling their portion size to help them lose weight and reduce stress on their joints. 

 

How Kradle Can Help 

If you're noticing signs and symptoms of hip and joint pain in dogs, see your veterinarian as soon as possible, so you can learn what treatments and hip and joint supplements for dogs will most benefit your pet and get them on the path toward feeling better and moving more freely. 

As you explore options, consider Kradle Hip & Joint Chews and Hip & Joint Spray. Our CBD products may help support joint flexibility and mobility. Learn more about the potential benefits of CBD and order today. 

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