What is Arthritis?

There are many methods and strategies to help your dog with arthritis; Arthritis in Dogs. Arthritis is a disease that causes inflammation in the joints. It may cause your pet to experience pain, stiffness, and even lameness when they move. Dogs and cats have high pain thresholds, so you may not notice if your pet has arthritis.

Dogs who live long enough develop arthritis, which is the most common cause of pain in older dogs.  A degenerative disease, occurs when joints are used too much and become worn down. This condition becomes chronic and can lead to immobility. Dogs with this condition are at risk for becoming crippled or diseased if they continue to put stress on their joints.

dog with Arthritis

Arthritis is a disease that can affect any joint, causing pain and discomfort. The most common joints affected in dogs include the hip, elbow, shoulder, stifle (knee), carpus (wrist), hock (ankle), and intervertebral joints (spine). Dogs with arthritis experience pain resulting from damage within the joint.

Causes of Arthritis

Arthritis begins when the cartilage is damaged in a joint. The damage is caused by aging, congenital problems, obesity or athletic injuries.

The cartilage in your pet’s joint acts as a shock absorber, cushioning the bones that form the joint. When the cartilage becomes thin, it may cause the joint space to narrow and the bone beneath it to deteriorate. Without cartilage in place to absorb shock, your pet’s bones and other structures within its joint will become damaged.

Symptoms of Arthritis in dog.

The signs of this disease in your dog may include the following, Lameness and stiffness, Slow gait, Difficulty in rising from rest, Lethargy and tendency to sleep more, Urinating indoors, muscle atrophy (wasting away of muscles), Swelling or heat may be evident (redness near affected area), Pain (including limping or whimpering), Licking of joints, gain or loss of weight, depression, aggressive behaviour or not active.

A dog showing arthritis symptoms

Diagnosis of Arthritis

Early signs of arthritis in dogs can be difficult to detect with x-rays alone. There are several ways to diagnose canine arthritis, but none of them are perfect.  A physical examination and x-rays will help your veterinarian determine if a dog has developed this disease.

Treatment

Your dog’s diet is always of the utmost importance and even more so if your dog has arthritis. Excessive weight causes extra strain on your dog’s body and joints, even if they exercise regularly. Although you may be tempted to give them treats, try not to overfeed them as this can cause their condition to worsen.

A dog undergoing arthritis treatment

Exercise is one of the most important things you can do for your dog. Make sure that you get your dog up frequently to prevent stiffness, which will also improve his mobility. Exercise helps to Keeps joints flexible. Despite being a natural way to exercise, high impact exercise on concrete is generally a bad idea because the increased weight of the body may have the opposite effect and cause joint pain. Exercise regularly in order to keep your joints flexible.  Be careful not to overdo it when exercising outside, as this type of activity can affect the joint also.

Physiotherapy can helps your dog maintain strength and flexibility. Physical therapy can involve using acupuncture, regenerative techniques like stem cell therapy, herbal therapies, chiropractic techniques, or even surgery to repair, replace, or remove an affected joint.

Your veterinarian can prescribe medications for your dog that will help ease arthritis symptoms. There are many types of drugs available, and the right one will depend on the specifics of your pet’s case. Water therapy, also known as hydrotherapy, involves treadmill work while the body is underwater. The decreased pressure allowed on joints and ligaments is wonderful for pets who suffer.

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