Hank will be 7 this May. Some of our outings can be strenious on the both of us. We go hiking with steep inclines, rocks and boulders, we go swimming every now and then and we go for walks they're usually long ones. Needless to say, since Hank was a puppy we have been playing hard. But he absolutely loves it! The last few strenous outings, he has appeared to be stiff later that same evening or the next morning after rest. This past weekend was a long one, racing four wheelers, swimming and the next day we spent the day at the dog parade, mostly walking on concrete. I think his pads are a little sore from walking on the concrete but he is stiff on his front legs and his back right leg he sort of wobbles on.. hard to explain. He doesn't seem to express pain, but a noticeable stiffness. I have checked his legs thoroughly and his pads checking for serious injury. He is fine with me holding, squeezing and moving his legs and paws around so I know he didn't injury himself. And since he has done this before after long hard days, I think its just stiffness. Actually he is much better tonight. And its only right after he hasn't been mobile for a little while. But once he gets up and moving around he seems fine.
I would like to hear from folks who share the same experience or have some knowledge on the subject. Could this be early signs of arthritis? I will consult my vet of course but I just want to hear from you guys as well. Is there anything I can do for him to make him little more comfortable when he is stiff? I know I will have to adjust his exercise and eventually he will not be able to come with me on these adventures. But in the meantime, cause he is just gonna have to play, what can I do for my guy? what do you do for your labs?
when we first got Bruno he was limping quite bad after we came back from a walk.i was quite supprised as he wasn't even one year old.the vet told me it could be a hip problem or arthritis,and suggested that he lost a little weight,had regular massage-especially before and after walks,and to introduce cod liver oil to his diet by mixing 5ml a day into his food.after a month or so i started seeing a big improvement in bru,and now-luckely-hes fine.i think however brus problem was more to do with his weight than anything else (he was a stone over weight when i got him and had never had any proper exercise).if i were you i would defiantly give the massage and cod liver oil a chance,it not cause any harm and the cod liver oil is great for helping towards a nice shinny coat as well as oiling those joints out .i hope everything goes well for you and hank.let us know how you get on at the vets
You've got some good advice so far. If your not using it yet I would also recommend Glucosimine, I have been giving Oona 1000mg a day for the last 9 months and have seen a world of difference. The other thing you have to remember is in human years he is between 50 and 60.
Definitely cut back the exercise. If he is stiff or reluctant after physical activity, it is too much for him. I would think about a trip to the vets to confirm if there is a problem -- his hips might be slowing him down.
Definitely put him on Glucosamine - Cosaquin is a great one. Also, Adequan shots can make a world of difference for a dog with arthritic changes. You also may need to limit his exercise a bit. He can still play and exercise, you just may need to help him moderate the amount of exercise he gets.
Thanks for all the replies. I spoke with my vet and they too recommended a supplement with Glucosamine. But also suggested finding one with Chondroitin in it. So I found a supplement that I will start using but I have to wait til after his food testing is done. Since he has allergies we are also testing his food, but he only has a few more weeks left and so far so good. Once thats done, I will start him on the supplement.
Be careful what brand of supplement you use. Lots of them apparently do not have the represented amount of glucosamine/chondroitin in them. Cosaquin is the only one that has the scientific studies to back up it's efficacy. Cosaquin has chondroitin as well as glucosamine.