Arthritis is common in Pug dogs, especially when they get older (7 years and up). Unfortunately, arthritis can be painful and debilitating for a senior Pug.
Pug arthritis is mainly caused by the deterioration of the connective tissue around the joints, causing stiffness, pain, and lack of the ability to move.
While there are four main types of arthritis, the most common form for Pugs is osteoarthritis, which is also known as degenerative joint disease. It occurs when your Pug’s joint becomes inflamed as a result of smooth cartilage breaking down.
Since the cartilage is responsible for protecting your dog’s bone, damage to it affects how your Pug moves. It not only makes it impossible for your Pug’s joint to bend without experiencing pain but also causes exposed parts to rub against each other.
Symptoms of Pug arthritis
It’s vital to know the signs of Pug arthritis to save your dog a lot of pain and discomfort in the long run. Some of the common symptoms that show your Pug has arthritis include:
- A decrease in play or activity
- Becoming hesitant to perform specific actions that they had no problem with, e.g., running, jumping, or climbing steps.
- Enlarged lymph nodes
- Favoring a limb
- Sleeping or laying down more often
- Being slow to get up
- Clicking of a knee when your Pug moves
- Difficulty in stride
Pain is also a symptom that your Pug has arthritis, but this only occurs when the condition has progressed.
What causes Pug arthritis?
Some of the main causes of arthritis in Pugs include:
1. An injury
Ligament injuries cause your Pug’s joints to become unstable. With time, the extra wear and tear when your dog runs or walks lead to cartilage loss and, eventually, arthritis. Additionally, if your Pug has had hip dysplasia or luxating patella, it’s more prone to develop arthritis in its hips or knees.
Pugs are prone to weight gain as they get older, and this only gets worse when your dog becomes sedentary. The more your Pug weighs, the greater the pressure on its joints, causing wear and tear.
Your Pug may have joints that genetically weaken as it grows, or it may have improper bone development.
Managing your Pug’s arthritis
As soon as your Pug shows any arthritis symptoms, you need to take them to your veterinarian for diagnosis. This way, you can identify what’s causing the trouble and find a viable treatment or solution for your Pug.
To examine your Pug, your vet will need some blood and urine samples, an x-ray, and fluid samples. X-rays are essential for confirming or ruling out the presence of arthritis, while fluid samples from the affected area help in analyzing the issue on your dog’s joints.
Upon diagnosis, you can discuss treatment plans for your Pug. These may include:
1. Prescription medications
Your vet can prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Metacam, Rimadyl, and Deramaxx to control the signs of arthritis.
2. Nutritional supplements
You could use chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine to reduce joint inflammation and improve your Pug’s ability to strengthen and repair tissues. There are also other effective supplements for arthritis to minimize pain and maintain cartilage – ask your vet.
3. Holistic alternatives
You can try holistic therapies such as acupuncture, massage, and low-impact rehab to reduce joint pain and inflammation. Chiropractic medicine, water therapy, and laser treatment are also holistic approaches to treating arthritis.
The bottom line
Your Pug needs plenty of support and affection to help relieve the pain and inflammation caused by arthritis.