Canine Arthritis

What Is Osteoarthritis (OA?)

Just like humans, dogs can get arthritis too, and it may start at a very young age!

To put it simply, arthritis is an inflammation of the joint that leads to joint swelling, thickened tissue around the joint, and degradation of cartilage, all leading to increased stiffness, muscle weakness, and pain. It’s a vicious cycle if left untreated.

Signs of Arthritis

As an owner, you are with the dog day in and day out and are the most qualified to notice subtle changes in your dog’s mobility or behavior.

So what should you be on the lookout for?

  • Slowness when changing positions or when rising from lying down
  • Stiffness that may or may not go away after a bit of walking or movement
  • Intermittent lameness, especially after exercise
  • Hesitant to jump in the car, onto the couch, or go up the stairs
  • Slowing down on walks or less willing to go the normal distance
  • Unusual or increasing amount of stops during walks

Arthritis is something that we commonly hear about with our senior dogs, but do you know the signs to tell if your dog may have osteoarthritis?

Learn more about how we utilize the Underwater Treadmill in our canine rehab sessions to treat Arthritis in dogs.

Now that you have identified some of these changes, it’s time to see your vet!

Your veterinarian can help you make a definitive diagnosis of osteoarthritis or determine that your pup may have something else going on entirely. Either way, a vet appointment is your first step to healing!

With a diagnosis in hand, you can start to develop a treatment plan.

Treatment Approaches

Our first instinct may be to start administering joint supplements or pain meds to help our dogs feel better, but the truth is, that it takes a multimodal approach. A multimodal approach is one that includes the following things:

  • Pain Control
  • Weight Management
  • Regular Low-Impact Exercise
  • Joint Protection
  • Physical Rehabilitation

Unfortunately, our first inclination is to let our dog relax and not “push too hard," similar to our sweet grandparents whom we love to lock arms with and help up every curb we see.


But as you can see from the list, our multimodal approach is going to take some targeted exercise and rehabilitation techniques to start making a difference.

How Alpha Animal Rehabilitation and Fitness Can Help

Our Canine Rehab Practitioners are trained to evaluate your dog from a movement and functional perspective. Ask yourself the following:

  • Is your dog having trouble taking the stairs?
  • Have you stopped being able to take your pup out on the weekends with your spouse to hike?
  • Is your dog no longer able to jump on the couch and lie down with you to cuddle?
  • Is there a muscle flexibility restriction, pain in the joints, or a decrease in body awareness or balance? 

These are all examples of functional activities, and as canine rehabilitation practitioners, we identify what specifically is holding your dog back from being able to do those things. 

The best part? We teach you how to help your dog feel better with easy and manageable techniques!


Speak With A Canine Rehabilitation Specialist Today

Read our blog post on how canine rehab used in conjunction with Librela can help your dog with Arthritis!