So your dog is starting to slow down. Is that something you should be worried about?
Well, yes. I strongly believe that any change that you see in your dog, in their behavior, their capability or their mobility, needs to be checked out by a vet. Slowing down, unfortunately, does happen to all of us at some points. But for example, if someone said to me, "Yeah, my Labrador, he's about five now, he's really started slowing down." I'd be like, "there's something wrong here." That dog is way too young to be showing those signs. Though if somebody said to me, "Yeah, my Spaniel is about 12, 13 now. And he's just beginning to take it a little bit easier." I would sit back a bit more and go, "I am expecting that." But it doesn't mean that I wouldn't look into it and make sure that that dog is comfortable.
What is a veterinarian's role when they hear a dog is slowing down?
What we're trying to do is make sure that we detect pain, localize it, work out what it is, and treat it accordingly. But with age as with all of us, we do have degenerative changes. That means that where our is slower, our capability is less, our strength is less. So with age, slowing down does come. If you're seeing it earlier than expected, that is an alarm bell.
For additional information about canine arthritis, check out Dr. Capon's work at Canine Arthritis Management.
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