Joint pains are prevalent in dogs just as in humans. So, if your puppy is complaining of acute knee or leg pain, take it to the vet asap for testing and treatment. Since there is no language with which your dog can communicate its issues to you, you should keep an eye out for signs that point to the bone, joint, and muscle problems.
Pay attention to your dog’s gait, the way it sits down and gets up, and check if your dog is throwing its weight on a particular limb or limping. Do you notice other signs like lethargy, appetite, and weight loss in your dog? In a case like this, you might want to seek medical help. Dog insurance NZ covers your puppy’s medical care during unanticipated health issues and emergencies.
Search for insurance for pets online if you are contemplating purchasing a pet policy. Meanwhile, read this article to learn some typical joint and muscle issues in dogs and the necessity of weight management.
Typical joint and muscle issues in dogs
1. Hip dysplasia
A hip malformation usually occurs during a dog’s growing years. When the femur bone’s head and the pelvic bone’s socket, termed as “Acetabulum”, don’t grow uniformly it leads to hip deformation. It is a condition more often seen in bigger dogs.
2. Disc prolapse
This condition is widely known as “Slip disc”. When a dog’s spine is excessively pressurized, a disk prolapse occurs. The immense weight or pressure can herniate or dislocate one or more spinal cord discs, causing much pain and discomfort. It can trigger paralysis in chronic cases.
3. Slipping patella
A common joint and muscle problem in smaller dog breeds. If a kneecap slips from its central position to the left/right, it is called a slipping patella. A dog may require surgery to correct a chronic and recurrent patella problem.
In contrast, a one-time episode can be quickly resolved through regular exercise. Terriers, Dachshunds, and Pomeranians are some breeds highly vulnerable to this medical condition.
4. ACL injury
One of the most common knee injuries in dogs. In simple terms it is called a ligament tear. It can happen when the knee ligaments are subjected to stress or trauma while pulling or jumping. A few signs of an ACL injury include sharp pain in the hind limb, knee inflammation, or weakness in the hind limb.
Need for weight management
A few extra treats, cheat meals, and other lavish food indulgences can raise your dog’s weight rapidly. Even a few kgs above the ideal weight can overburden your puppy’s spine and legs, made to tolerate only a specific weight.
It is precisely why you must be cautious about overfeeding your puppy. Dogs belonging to larger breeds are more susceptible to weight gain and changes in the biomechanics of the joints. The extra fat deposits add more pressure on the bones causing health issues like arthritis.
Help your puppy maintain an optimum weight to lower or manage joint issues and prevent the disease from progressing to the next stage. But don’t compromise on your puppy’s nutritional needs.
However, a trip to the vet is due if your dog has problems with walking or moving even a few steps. Stick to the vet-recommended diet, supplements, and weight loss routine, so your puppy stays fit and fine.
Also, consider purchasing dog insurance in NZ to minimize the financial stress accompanying unanticipated vet visits. You can start by searching for insurance for pets online, checking the benefits of various pet policies, then requesting and comparing quotes to buy the best fit plan for your puppy that suits your budget.