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Signs and Symptoms of Arthritis in Dogs | CeeBeeDoo

Signs and Symptoms of Arthritis in Dogs | CeeBeeDoo

8 Signs of Arthritis in Dogs

As your dog gets older, it is only natural that they will not be as agile or have as much energy as they once did; however, there can be another reason this could be happening, and it doesn’t have anything to do with their age. Arthritis is a disease that can affect the joints, which can cause pain and discomfort. More commonly associated with humans, not many people are aware that it can also affect dogs.

Before we get started on the signs of arthritis in dogs, let’s first explore why your dog might have arthritis.

Why do dogs get arthritis?

Cartilage works as a shock absorber within the body. When damage is caused to the cartilage within a joint, this then results in the cells dying and enzymes being released, which can cause inflammation and can leave dogs in pain and discomfort. Over time as the cartilage continues to thin, this is narrowing the joint space and the bone beneath the cartilage begins to become damaged beyond repair. Without the cartilage in place, there is nothing to absorb the shock of knocking the joint, and therefore, your dog’s bones will become damaged.

The joints that can be affected include their hips, elbow, shoulder, knees, wrists, and ankles. It could even affect their backbone. But do note that it can affect any of the joints in their body. These are just the most common.

But why do dogs get arthritis?

One answer would be down to aging; the joints experience more wear and tear the older your dog gets. However, it can also be down to congenital abnormalities, obesity, and injuries (either athletic or traumatic).

Noticing that your dog is suffering from arthritis can aid them in managing their condition and living a better quality of life.

8 Signs to watch out for

There are 8 different symptoms of arthritis in dogs that dog owners can watch out for. These include:

  1. Licking or chewing at their painful joint

If your dog seems to be continually licking or chewing their leg, for instance, they could be trying to tell you that they are in pain. Due to the continued actions that they are carrying out, you could find that the area they are licking or chewing starts to become inflamed or hair is falling out.

  1. Limping

One of the most obvious signs that your dog is suffering from arthritis is the way they are walking. Are they leaning on one leg more than the other? Or is one of their back legs struggling to move as well as the others? You might notice this happens more often after they have been sitting down for a while. This is because it always takes a while for the muscles to warm up.

  1. Difficulty moving in general

It might be that the pain is so bad, they don’t even want to move. If they truly have difficulty moving because of the pain, then they can become more reluctant to move around to do things that could be accomplished. If you begin to notice that are struggling to move easily.

  1. Irritability and depression

Due to the pain your dog is in, it is likely that your dog is going to more irritable than you are used to. Even if they are a well-tempered dog, when experiencing the pain that arthritis can bring, when you try to approach them, they might bite or show signs of anger towards you, simply because they don’t want to be touched. The worse the pain is, the worse the mood they will be experiencing may be.

It might be that rather than experiencing anger that, in fact, they are experiencing depression as one of the side effects.


  1. They might tire more easily

Is your dog spending more time sleeping these days? Your dog may be experiencing more tired spells than normal due to arthritis, especially when you are out and about. Walks will, therefore, become shorter, especially if they are having trouble moving as well.

  1. Stiff and Swollen Joints

This one might be a bit harder to spot because the chances are that your pet won’t let you near their painful joints, for fear of further causing pain. However, if you notice that their joints appear to look stiff and swollen, then this a big indication that your furry friend is suffering.

  1. Spinal Problems

For some dogs, they might experience more than just pains in the joints; you might find that they are experiencing spinal problems as well that are caused by walking differently. They might have an abnormal posture or a hunch in the back.

  1. Muscle Atrophy

It doesn’t happen for all dogs, but sometimes, arthritis will develop into muscle atrophy. Due to the lack of movement or activity and decreased use of the muscles, the legs will appear thinner.  


What to give dogs for arthritis

With the knowledge of what to watch out for and receiving a diagnosis from the vets, you can set about getting your dog the treatment needed to improve their quality of life.

Fish Oil

As well as CBD oil, you should, try to give your dog fish oil. They are rich in Omega 3, which can help with arthritis. While this might be found in certain types of food, you could always add a drop to their food.

A good diet and exercise regime

While your dog might be reluctant to go for walks due to the pain they are experiencing, one of the best ways to combat this is actually through exercise. The walking will help you manage your dog's weight more effectively. If your dog is obese, losing weight should relieve some of the pain they are feeling due to suffering from arthritis.


Vitamin C and E aid in reducing inflammation around your dog’s joints; therefore, it would be beneficial for pet owners to give joint supplements to their dogs on a daily basis.

Can CBD Oil help?

One avenue you could explore is CBD oil, an alternative medicine derived from hemp oil. While the oil is not being hailed as a cure or a treatment for your furry friend, CBD for dogs arthritis might offer pain-relieving effects and may reduce inflammation on the joints.


CBD oil for dogs come in a number of different products. You could give this to them via dog treats, drops (that you can put in their food or water bowls), or tablets (which you can crush up into their food).


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