Arthritis in Dogs is the same condition that humans are diagnosed with every day. Arthritis can be a very painful condition that involves many joints throughout the body. Dogs who suffer from this condition may be in severe pain if not properly treated.
Common forms of canine arthritis
Osteoarthritis - a degenerative disease which causes loss of the smooth cartilage that covers and protects the end of the bones. Generally seen in dogs as they age.
Rheumatoid arthritis - an immune-mediated disease and most often seen in small breeds.
Infective or Septic arthritis is infection in the fluid and tissues of a joint usually caused by bacteria.
Idiopathic (the cause for this one is unknown).
Warning signs to watch for
Your dog's reluctance to go for his normal walk.
Difficulty climbing stairs.
Decrease in your pet's mobility.
Swelling of the joints.
Take your dog for a visit to your veterinarian for a check up if you suspect arthritis, particularly if your best friend is aging.
The causes of arthritis in dogs may be due to an injury that affected the joints such as such a tear in the cruciate ligament, excess weight, aging, genetics and infection. In younger dogs it can be due to the bones not developing correctly. Hip dysplasa is also associated with arthritis. This is a condition where the hip joint is already weakened due to a slight deformity.
Treatment for your canine friend is important. Several medications and exercises are available that alleviate some of the pain and inflammation that is associated with this disease. If your dog is over weight, put him on a calorie reduced diet and although exercise can be painful it is recommended for maintaining a healthy weight which will help eliminate some of the pain in the joints that are already affected. Swimming can be a great form of exercise for your arthritic dog. It does not stress or put pressure on painful joints. This is also good cardio exercise to help keep your pet's heart healthy. Alternative treatments and supplementation may also be an option.
With advances in veterinary care and products such as orthopedic dog beds and soothing heated dog beds to comfort those aching joints, as well as Dog Ramps and dog steps to help your furry friend in and out of your vehicle or to places in your home that he has trouble accessing, you will be providing him with all the comfort and help available.
Prevention of arthritis in dogs is the best possible kindness you can give your pet. When he is young see your veterinarian regarding diet, nutritional supplements and exercise.