Diagnosing Arthritis

Physical Examinations

Why does my dog need a physical examination?

The most common and consistent signs of arthritis are altered activity levels, changes in gait, and changes in temperament. These are quite vague and could be explained by another diseases such as a heart or lung condition, so a full veterinary examination of your dog is important.

Your vet should perform an orthopaedic examination which involves looking at posture, muscle mass, mobility, ability to stand, sit and lay, and the transition between them. From there palpation of your dog looking for muscle wasting, heat, swelling and pain can take place. Manipulation of your dog’s joints can look for abnormal crunching within the joint (crepitus), restricted movement suggesting fibrous change of the joint capsule, and pain.

Once your vet has identified areas of suspicion they may suggest further tests.