Arthritis And Your Dog: What You Should Know


If you have a dog that is getting up there in years, you may be concerned about their overall health and well-being. One of the most common health issues to affect older dogs of virtually every breed is arthritis. Arthritis is a condition that can have a major impact on your dog's well-being and overall quality of life. However, this does not mean that it is hopeless if your dog does develop arthritis at some point in their life. Get to know some of the important facts about arthritis and your dog. Then, you can be sure you are doing everything you can to take care of your dog if they develop this condition. 

What Is Arthritis?

Arthritis is an inflammatory condition that affects the joints in the body. It is also considered to be degenerative, meaning it can get worse over time. Osteoarthritis is the condition most common in dogs and along with the inflammation in the joints, it causes the deterioration of cartilage in those joints. 

However, there is also a condition known as polyarthritis in dogs which affects the immune system. It causes several joints throughout the body to have inflammation and can affect younger dogs as well as older dogs. 

What Are the Signs of Arthritis in Dogs?

Most of the time, the most common sign of arthritis in dogs is stiffness or difficulty moving, especially after laying down or being still for an extended period of time. Some dogs may have an altered gait from arthritis as well, leading them to favor one side or try to keep weight off of a specific leg. 

Dogs with arthritis may also show less interest in play or in physical activities than they once did. They could even appear lethargic and lacking in any energy whatsoever. You might also notice them struggling to get into a position to urinate or defecate and their postures while doing so may change significantly. 

What Should You Do If You Notice Signs of Arthritis?

If you notice signs of arthritis in your dog, you should head to a veterinarian or a veterinarian specialist right away. There are veterinarians that specialize in treating joint and mobility issues in dogs. However, to start with, your regular veterinarian can determine if your dog has arthritis. 

How Is Arthritis Treated in Dogs?

Dogs with arthritis have many treatment options available to them depending on how severe the condition is. Joint health supplements and medications are one such option. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications are often used first to treat arthritis pain and to reduce joint inflammation. Steroid treatments are also a possibility if NSAIDs do not work or just do not make enough of a difference. 

A veterinarian specialist may also recommend water therapy (basically like physical therapy in water) for your dog to get exercise with arthritis. Some veterinarian specialists will also offer acupuncture and other alternative treatments to help manage arthritis pain. 

Now that you know more about arthritis and your dog, you can be sure that you get them the help they need as soon as possible if you notice signs of arthritis in your dog. Reach out to a veterinarian specialist for more information. 


7 August 2020

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