Arthritis in Dogs
This is an infection of the joint resulting in inflammation, pain and swelling. This disease doesn’t
discriminate on age. It affects both young and old dogs. Large dogs are more prone to this condition due to the
weight they exert on the joints.
Types of arthritis
Arthritis is classified on two basis
- Number of joints affected
Polyarthritis refers to arthritis where more than two joints are affected. In most cases the limb joints are
mostly affected since they offer support thus pressure that is constantly exerted. The spinal cord is also a high
risk area with the vertebrae under strain.
On basis of cause arthritis, may result from degenerative processes thus degenerative arthritis. The cause may
also immune mediated where antibodies are formed against connective tissue. In this type of arthritis there is
destruction of joint surfaces.
Symptoms of arthritis
These may be seen immediately or may take some time to develop. Signs of arthritis will worsen as the
condition progresses leading to more severe symptoms.
As a general rule, any change in the dog’s
behaviour may indicate illness. However there are some signs that are indicative of arthritis. These
- Unusual gait: This may be manifested in several ways such as favouring a particular limb,
holding one limb off the ground when standing, limping. You can check the gait by looking at the dog when
- Stiffness of limbs: After a period of rest, the dog may have some trouble getting up or may
be unable to stretch a particular limb unaided.
- Pain: The dog may groan when touched or try to hide the limb away if you attempt to touch it.
Other signs of pain include favouring some limbs in order to avoid using the affected
- Reduced activity
Because of the pain associated with arthritis, a normally active dog may stop playing and refuse to move to
avoid feeling pain.
Since there are numerous conditions that may present with the same symptoms it is advised that you
visit a vet to get a confirmatory diagnosis. This is done using x-ray.
Arthritis is incurable once it has set in. However this condition can be effectively managed using proper
therapy. The therapy includes exercising your dog as well as use
of pain killers(analgesics).
At home there are several precautions that must be followed to ensure that the condition doesn’t worsen.
Arthritic pain is worse in cold seasons thus the dog should be provided with a warm blanket to reduce effects of
Nutrition of arthritic dogs is also very important. Ensure that the
dog doesn’t become overweight since this will complicate the condition further.
Some surgical solutions are also available. Surgery is a costly option but it has proven successful in restoring
limb function in some dogs. Nevertheless it is not a cure.
In older dogs arthritis is mostly due to the degenerative effects of age. While the condition can still be
managed some vets recommend euthanasia (mercy killing) to save the dog from untold pain.
Click here => http://gooddogtrainingadvice.com/doghealth.html