How Long Do Labs Live With Arthritis?
It is difficult to estimate how long a lab will live with arthritis because many factors contribute to this outcome. However, it’s possible for labs still to live a whole life of 10-12 years, even with arthritis.
Arthritis is a lifelong condition that affects joints and surrounding tissues. It is a chronic condition that can be managed with medication, exercise, or other treatments.
The process of aging can cause arthritis to develop as well as other diseases for Labradors. This can be due to increased inflammation, which damages the cartilage and bone tissue.
However, proper care and the severity of arthritis will impact life expectancy the most. We expect most dogs to live a full life of around ten or more years despite arthritis.
Does Arthritis Lower The Life Expectancy For Labs?
In a study conducted, arthritis was found to be a major risk factor for death in older dogs. The primary issue was a lack of mobility in older dogs, leading to sooner-than-expected euthanasia.
On average, minor arthritis will not impact the life expectancy of a Labrador much. But as these dog's age, the risk for more serious health issues is present, resulting in a reduced life expectancy.
However, it’s still possible for dogs to experience difficult and even fatal arthritis conditions. This is especially true for those who don’t receive enough care to deal with the diagnosis too.
Arthritis is also a progressive disease with no known cure. This is unfortunate, and it’s why many dog owners quickly turn to natural joint supplements to combat immediate pain while learning about long-term solutions.
Types Of Arthritis In Labs
The severity of arthritis in labs will impact their pain levels and how long they live. There are four stages worth mentioning.
Stage one arthritis is mild and typically occurs from an injury or advanced age. It can be treated and controlled using basic medications, exercise, and natural remedies.
This is also the most common arthritis and won’t change how long a lab lives.
Stage two is a bit more serious and indicates a mild form of joint disease but without severe damage to the joints or muscles. We don’t notice much of a life expectancy at this stage too.
The best way to treat stage two arthritis is through low-impact exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and using anti-inflammatory drugs to avoid joint swelling.
Stage three is a bigger concern for many labs and lab owners. Symptoms will become much clearer, including swollen joints and lots of limping around the house.
It’s also difficult for dogs to get up and down on the couch or while lying down. We typically see labs live a year or two shorter lives depending on their weight, health, and age at which they get diagnosed.
Lastly, stage four is the most serious arthritis condition. It becomes extremely difficult for labs to remain mobile because of excessive pain, causing life expectancy to drop.
Typically, lab owners have no choice but to put their dogs down sooner than they want because the pain is too much.
How Does Arthritis Affect A Lab?
Arthritis affects all different animals, but it is most common in dogs, particularly Labradors. It can cause joint pain and swelling, leading to difficulty moving around and even difficulty breathing.
Limping And Trouble Walking
The most obvious sign of serious arthritis in a Lab is walking gingerly or limping around the house. This indicates the dog is dealing with joint pain, impacting how it moves around.
When this happens, the best thing to do is get an exam for the dog to see if it has any serious joint problems. Raised water bowls and non-skid floors help a lot too.
Another common sign of arthritis is swollen joints and weaker muscles. This happens in more severe stages of arthritis because it severely limits the amount of movement and exercises a lab can handle.
For older labs with arthritis, it’s common to see reduced energy because of pain. Dealing with severe pain takes a lot out of these dogs, causing them to limit how often they get excited or move around.
Labradors will have limited mobility when they have arthritis. This condition affects the joints and causes pain or stiffness that can be difficult to manage with physical activity.
Implementing low-impact exercise into their routines can help with this problem.
How To Make Your Lab Live Longer With Arthritis
There are many ways to help a lab live longer with arthritis. The number one way to increase life expectancy is through proper care and treatment to help manage the condition while reducing pain.
This can be accomplished by increasing exercise, using prescribed medications, reducing stress, and establishing a regular routine.
Increase Exercise For Them To Maintain A Healthy Weight
A Labrador's exercise routine can help to curb arthritis and also help to live longer. This helps by strengthening their joints and allowing them to remain at a healthy weight.
The daily exercise routine can be as simple as walking around the block or walking with your owner. However, keep the exercise manageable and don’t overwork them because it can cause more pain.
For these reasons, a healthy weight is important for any pet. It becomes even more important as they get older and arthritis conditions become worse. Daily walks are extremely beneficial and something worth considering.
Vet Visits And Medications
Any lab that shows signs of arthritis should see a vet for a proper exam. They can provide a proper analysis while prescribing anti-inflammatory medications to deal with joint pains.
Dogs with arthritis face a lot of pain and discomfort, which can lead to increased stress levels. The best way to reduce stress is to provide them with a calming environment to relax.
This includes being patient and calm, giving them treats, playing games, and giving them lots of attention.
Create A Routine
The most important thing is to find a routine that the dog enjoys and stick to it. This includes exercising daily, scheduling meal times, creating a bedtime routine, and anything else necessary.
About THE AUTHOR
Mark is the founder of Everything Labradors and a husband and father of 3. He enjoys spending time with his family, including his dog Molly, a Labrador/Golden Retriever mix. He’s a big fan of the outdoors and loves to travel to new places.Read more about Mark Brunson