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Early Signs of Arthritis in Dogs

April 01, 2020

As you may know, arthritis is very common in our canine pals. In fact, over 65 percent of dogs over age seven are afflicted with this painful condition. Arthritis cannot be cured, but there are some treatment options available for it. However, it’s always beneficial when a health problem is addressed early. Read on as a Bourne, MA vet lists some warning signs that your dog may be developing arthritis.


Limping is often one of the earliest signs of arthritis. At first, Fido may only limp for a moment, usually when he first gets up. As time goes by, the limp will become more pronounced.

Reduced Interest In Play

Just like people, dogs often slow down as they age. However, your canine buddy should still want to indulge his inner puppy now and then. If Fido just isn’t interested in playing anymore, arthritis could be to blame.


If Fido is dealing with arthritic pain, he may lick or bite himself constantly. Dogs with arthritis often worry at their legs, paws, or the base of their tails.


Does your dog wince or even yelp if you touch a specific spot on his body? This is definitely a red flag that there is something going on!

Limited Mobility

As Fido’s condition worsens, he’ll get quite stiff and sore. He may have a hard time climbing stairs, getting in and out of the car, and (assuming he’s allowing) jumping on and off beds and sofas. He may also just seem uncomfortable.

Trouble Getting Up Or Down

If Fido has arthritis, he may have a hard time getting up or down, and he probably won’t playfully flop over for belly rubs.

Behavioral Changes

As one can imagine, arthritis isn’t much of a mood booster for anyone. Your furry best friend may seem sort of sad, and he may withdraw. Some pooches will get downright grumpy. Restlessness and whining can also be warning signs.


If you notice any of these warning signs in your dog, contact your vet right away. There are things you can do to help Fido feel better. Nutrition, weight loss, medication, good home care, and other options can all help keep your furry friend comfortable, and keep that tail going.

Do you have questions about arthritis in dogs? Please contact us, your Bourne, MA vet clinic, anytime. We’re here to help!

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