Most dogs with arthritis rarely show any signs of discomfort or pain during the day. When you see them all active and happy running around, you’ll never guess that they’re suffering from arthritis unless you’re told. But during certain nights, their symptoms come in full force, something that’s very painful to any loving dog owner.
Arthritic dogs are likely to limp at night due to the following reasons:
- Very cold temperatures
- Stiffness from no or very little activity
- Soreness from excessive physical activity
Since too much activity leads to soreness and too little activity leads to stiffness in your dog’s joints, finding the right combination and amount of exercise for your pet is very important in order to manage this condition successfully in the long term.
Low-impact exercises like swimming and walking are excellent for arthritic dogs. If he’s overweight, you need to help him loose the excess pounds and maintain a healthy weight so as to reduce the additional pressure being exerted on his joints.
Note that arthritis is a chronic, progressive condition. Therefore, taking your dog to the vet for regular checkups and monitoring is key. Here are some ways to help you manage his condition at night when he’s in pain and limping:
Use Glucosamine Supplements
Many people have noticed improvements after using glucosamine supplements on their arthritic dogs. These supplements significantly reduce the pain and inflammation associated with the disease, making your dog feel much more comfortable. They also come in different brands, so you should be able to find the right brand that works well for you and your pet.
Ask Your Vet For Stronger Pain Medications
If the above supplements alone don’t help improve your pet’s arthritic symptoms, you may want to consider something stronger to manage his pain. Ask your vet if he can prescribe a more effective pain medication for him.
Of course you have to take your dog to his office to be examined first. It’s only after a thorough examination that the vet will be able to recommend the right pain medication for him. Be sure to follow his instruction strictly with regards to the dosage and timing of the medication.
Use A Heating Pad
On those cold winter nights, you can use a heating pad on your dog’s hips to help reduce the stiffness and tension in the joints.
Give Him A Gentle Massage
Finally, you can also massage your arthritic pet at night to help ease his pain and discomfort as well as to improve blood circulation to his painful joints. Most dogs love gentle massages, so I’m sure yours will appreciate your effort.
If you’re sure that your dog is arthritic, then you can use above tips to make his condition more manageable. However, sometimes limping in dogs doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re suffering from arthritis. Therefore, if yours limps at night, the best thing you can do is to take him to the vet as soon as possible for a thorough examination. Based on the diagnosis, your vet will recommend for you the right treatment plan for him.