Your dog. She’s your toy-chasing, tail-wagging, dirt-digging, face-licking, couch-snuggling friend. She’s up with the sun and goes full throttle until it’s time to hit the dog bed. And then one day, she’s not quite up with the sun. More like up with the brunch crowd. And she doesn’t quite go full tilt. More like a leisurely half slant.
It could be canine osteoarthritis (OA).
“But she’s not old,” you say. “She’s young! And healthy!” Believe it or not, canine OA can start early, affecting dogs as young as 1 year old. So, it’s possible your youthful, healthy pup might be suffering from osteoarthritis pain.
Certain risk factors like breed, activity level, injury, weight gain and surgery history play a role in the early onset of canine OA.1 Still, many people don’t pay attention to the signs because their dog seems too young to have it. In fact, more than half of dogs with canine OA aren’t diagnosed until they are over 8 years old.1
Keep an eye out for changes in your furry friend’s behavior. Even subtle changes that don’t seem like a big deal. They could be signs she’s experiencing pain from canine OA. Early diagnosis leads to early treatment, which means she’ll be chasing tennis balls for years and years and years to come.
Your pooch has a paunch. She loves table scraps, treats and lazy afternoons. Who doesn’t? But in the past year, her indulgences have affected the size of her tummy. Heads up: Excess weight = extra stress on her joints.
She acts like she’s in pain. You reach down to pat her leg and she flinches. She incessantly licks a specific joint. She limps to the dog bed after a game of fetch.
She’s having a hard time getting up. It takes her a minute to stand after a nap. As she rises, she looks stiff and shaky, and sometimes, she just chooses to stay down.
She’s having a hard time getting around. She stops taking the stairs two at a time. Walks are cut short because she can’t keep up. Jumping into the car or onto the couch doesn’t happen automatically. She hesitates, then leaps clumsily.
She’s slow to heal from a recent joint injury or surgery. The pep in her step doesn’t seem to be returning. She continues to walk carefully or favors the leg that isn’t injured.
There’s a sadness about her. She doesn’t want to play as much. Or snuggle on the bed as much. Or do anything very active, really. She’s seems withdrawn. Down. Dejected.
These changes could be signs your loyal companion has canine osteoarthritis. Use this interactive checklist to identify risk factors or shifts in your dog’s activity and behavior. Then, share your observations and concerns with your veterinarian and should your dog be diagnosed with OA, know there are many tools that can be used individually or simultaneously that can help. More often than not, veterinarians will recommend more than one course of action at a time, also called a multimodal approach for treatment.
Your veterinarian may prescribe a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) like Galliprant® (grapiprant tablets) as part of your dog’s multimodal treatment, to help reduce joint pain associated with canine OA. Galliprant is a first-of-its-kind, targeted NSAID that’s safe to use daily. It provides your loyal companion with the pain relief she needs to get back to romping and sprinting and zooming down the road of life.