One of the greatest joys that a dog has is going for a walk. The new smells, the new sights, the feeling of the earth, sand or grass beneath their feet.
Nothing beats the joy in a dog’s face when you pick the lead up, apart from perhaps the food bowl getting filled.
Unfortunately, just like humans, a dog’s body won’t always work as it should. Mobility issues can be a problem for dogs and can affect them in a multitude of different ways.
Maybe you want to help your own pet with their mobility issues through treatments and innovative products like joint health chews. Or perhaps you’re hoping to understand the signs so you know what to do if they happen, we’ve got plenty of information to help you.
What & Why?
Older dogs tend to be affected by mobility issues most often, but younger dogs can struggle with problems too.
They are conditions that affect the way that your dog moves and can be functional, painful or both. Mobility issues can be progressive which means they may affect your dog more over time, especially without diagnosis or treatment.
Mobility issues commonly occur for these reasons:
● Birth defects (spina bifida etc)
● Breed defects or predisposition (hip dysplasia in labradors for example)
● Physical trauma (falls or accidents causing damage to the body)
● Neurological trauma
● Physical conditions
● Age (arthritis, cancer, hip dysplasia, etc)
Signs & Symptoms
There are lots of obvious signs and symptoms your dog may be struggling with mobility issues including:
● Lack of excitement in physical activities
● Inability to get up
● Moving less
● Moving differently
● Nursing and grooming certain joints excessively
● Responding negatively when you touch certain joints
● Showing signs of pain
● Difficulty with steps or jumping
It may be that all of a sudden these symptoms are present, or it may be that a small sign gets progressively worse.
How Might Mobility Issues Affect Your Dog?
As you have seen in some of the information above, your dog may be affected in a multitude of ways when they have mobility issues.
Sometimes it is a practical issue that involves a bit of forward-thinking from us as owners.
For example, a dog that has mobility issues due to a weakness in their back legs could benefit from all kinds of things. A canine wheelchair, a strength harness that helps us help them walk, or perhaps steps and ramps in the house and to help with the car.
When a dog is in pain, it can be a bit more complex to help them feel better. Your vet is likely to do a variety of tests to find out exactly why your dog is in pain.
Solutions might be operations, anti-inflammatory and pain medications, acupuncture, massage, hydrotherapy or other modern options.
If you can reduce your dog’s pain and help them get around like they used to, they can have an incredible quality of life even with mobility issues.
Simple Changes You Can Make To Help Your Pet
As well as more substantial changes like ramps or wheelchairs (if suitable) there are actually some very minor things you can do that will make a huge difference to your dog’s life:
● Always keeping them groomed
● Always keeping their nails trim
● Providing lots of grippy surfaces
● Keeping their home warm
● Providing a comfortable bed
● Providing lots of love and attention
● Maintaining vet visits
● Raising food and water bowls
● Ensuring they can comfortably reach their toileting area
Mobility issues in dogs can be challenging, but they can be overcome or at least managed with the right advice, treatment, and efforts from you.
Dogs who have had surgery, who have arthritis or even missing limbs can have a fantastic life with our help. The first step is getting a diagnosis.