Signs Your Pet May Have Joint Pain

There can be many causes of painful joints in pets

Joint pain and/or inflammation are some of the most common signs seen in pets with musculoskeletal disease. Discomfort in the joints can have many causes ranging from traumatic injuries, infections including tick born diseases such as Lyme disease or Ehrlichiosis, or fungal infections. In young pets, congenital joint disease, including hip dysplasia also may be involved. In middle-aged and older pets, autoimmune and degenerative diseases of the joints are common, especially diseases of the stifle joints, including luxating patellas and torn cruciate ligaments (known as a torn ACL).

Clinical signs of joint pain may include swelling and tenderness of the joints, as well as cracking of the joints on movement. Varying degrees of lameness and limping, stiffness and limb weakness also may be seen. Many pets with infectious or inflammatory conditions of the joints may develop fever, lethargy, and loss of appetite. Other pets with severe joint pain may be reluctant to jump, or go up and down stairs, as well as have a reluctance to play or move around. In pets with signs of severe and/or chronic joint pain, a full veterinary diagnostic workup is recommended so that proper treatment can be implemented.

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14 Comments

  1. When we have pets we need to take care of them very carefully. Otherwise they would be in trouble as they couldn’t express their feeling. Pets generally have arthritis problems. We need to diagnose the problem early so that it gets solved.
    It can be recognized by looking at the swollen joints of the pets. If we see our pet showing these kinds of symptoms then we should consult a veterinarian as quick as possible

  2. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianFebruary 20, 2013 at 11:47 pm

    Thanks for sharing. Excellent points.

  3. My dog is 8 years old, she is a Beautiful Pomeranian. I was in Florida and had a blood test ( her usual) and she tested positive for Lyme Disease. My vet in Vermont said when you come back to Vermont we will check her urine, so 3 months later….her urine is positive for Lyme and just started antibiotic. I am really concerned if this is the best route and only route. She had put on some weight in Florida as it was so hot out. I think she hurt her back leg from playing Frisbee as strong as she does. But that’s when I brought her to the vet who said her urine shows she needs the antibiotic.(DOC) . She is 14lbs. Am I going to lose her??? Is there something natural to help flush out some or all of the bacteria of Lyme? She was on Frontline when she got a tick. In Vermont everyone was having problems with Frontline, She never liked drinking water as she waits till her throat is so dry that when she drinks she coughs and hates that. Could that be the bacteria she is getting in her urine? Is there a distinct Bacteria that shows up in the urine or is it protein? What is it exactly?? I feel like I let “My Molly” down by allowing her to get this….I am a mess…… HELP!’Kathleen

  4. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianSeptember 27, 2013 at 11:30 pm

    I would first suggest calming down on this. I think your vet may be over diagnosing situation. First I would ask your vet for a urine protein/creatinine ratio to see if truly losing protein in urine. If none, then chronic lyme not an issue. You can also ask your vet for a Western Blot test to confirm whether actual lyme exposure occurred. There are other supportive meds other than antibiotics for kidney disease. Also consider new supplement called Renavast for kidneys if kidney disease is an issue. Let me know about these tests and then I will help advise further.

  5. Yes he did all of those tests, Called me today and said her proteins are high and he said that means the filtering is done 100%. The next step is biopsy. I think that’s what he called it. He said because I asked if her life would be shorter and he said hard to say but probably…. I am truly upset,,,,,, Any suggestions?? My dog is a Pom, this is very unusual , may not even be the Lyme Disease causing this he said,
    Help, She is only 8 years old:(:(

  6. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianNovember 11, 2013 at 2:15 am

    I would consider low dose enalopril or benazopril therapy, as well as fatty acid supplementation as well. The supplement renavast which you can find on line also may help. I would work with homeopathic vet on more individualized approach to this problem for best chance. To learn more about homeopathy, go to http://www.beyondflatearth.com as well as my website http://www.doctordym.com Many homeopathic vets like myself do offer phone consultations.

  7. When I noticed that my rottweiler was having trouble getting up and going up and down the stairs I went to http://vetsupplysource.com/dog-supplies/vitamins-supplements and got her some medication and she instantly started feeling like herself. My vet told me that joint problems are common in rottweilers. Its difficult having a dog with health issues but as long as you keep it under control everything will be fine.

  8. Our Rosabella had stone’s in her bladder and the doctor saw she has some hip dysplasia and we are looking for a glucosamine and chondroitin with out ,magnesium, calcium,and carbonate. I’m wondering if a fish oil would help or if there is any glucosamine with out all that stuff in it out there to buy.

  9. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianFebruary 11, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    Fish oil would be find to try like nordic naturals pet omega 3 fatty acid from 1800petmeds, as well as antioxidant proanthozone and perhaps yucca intensive by azmira

  10. Our 7 year old choc lab Gideon suddenly has not been able to walk correctly. He spent four days boarded at our vets. Could it be that the drastic difference in his ability to walk about and stretch out (he’s now 88 lbs) has contributed to this? He was not eating well since he has been home; when we leave he sometimes does this, but we get the sense that there is something greater going on. Our vet looked at him and recommended that we come back in two days for a follow up. He gave him pain meds (proquin) for now. Gideon can’t move forward. We managed to get him to stnad up with assistance. He backs up, and does not want to put weight on his hind legs, often holding one up. He has also lost his appetite and lost 8lbs while we were away for a week and he was boarding and at home without grown daughters. Is this hip dysplasia? We are relatively new to labs (he is my first dog ever). What homeopathic remedies would you recommend? We don’t take a lot of meds as humans, and would love to help Gideon without drugs as well. Any suggestions? This is such a puzzle. It came on out of no where. We haven’t interrupted his normal activity except for our trip and him boarding. (First time ever) Thanks in advance!

  11. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianFebruary 16, 2015 at 4:05 pm

    Best to have an individualized holistic/homeopathic consultation to decide best plan if that is path you would like to go. For now, go with super joint enhancer and proanthozone from 1800petmeds. See my website for more information on a homeopathic approach to health. Many homeopaths do offer phone consultations. http://www.doctordym.com

  12. My 10 yr old GSD has been having difficulty getting up. Three years ago, we had Xrays taken and moderate hip dysplasia was detected and he was prescribed Rimadyl. He took it for a little while and then his liver enzymes elevated. We took him off of it, changed his diet and added Gluco-Chondritin. He did well for those 3 years but in the last 2 weeks and struggled when rising. We took him into the vet and they gave him Tramadol. We hesitated on the Rimadyl because of the previous experience. I saw the natural meds with willow bark, yucca and pineapple bromelin and would like to try these instead of the presc meds. Will these meds interfere with him taking Tramadol? And it says there is some Glucosamine HCl in this as well. Should I discontinue his Gluco-chondritin supplement since there is some already present in the natural version? Thank you.

  13. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMarch 24, 2015 at 12:09 am

    There should be no problems using glucosamine, tramadol and the other supplements.

  14. Have blk lab .just started limping on right paw looked @ no sore but red between pads. took her to bathroom and she laid down. Other than that she is in perfet health. it sunday here and her vet is closed

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