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Understanding Arthritis in Dogs


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One of the worst sicknesses that a dog can have in his years is dog arthritis, which is a degenerative disease that involves damage to the joints and cartilage and result in pain and having a hard time walking or running. This can strike on any dog, whether small or large, whatever the age and condition. As pet owners, you must have knowledge of the different types of dog arthritis so you can take care of your dog more:

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of dog arthritis where it is caused by a trauma to the joint, infection or age. It is a degenerative joint disease that is progressive and the cartilage breaks down. This results to the bones rubbing against each other, thus resulting to the joints being painful and stiff.

Another type is the hip dysplasia, which is a genetic joint disease. This is where hip sockets are deformed and there is inflammation of the joint and the tissues surrounding the area will begin to deteriorate and have a breakdown. Elbow Dysplasia is a degenerative hereditary disease where bones do not form well and chip. This is the common cause of lameness of the front legs and is usually seen on large breeds of dogs. There is also the knee dysplasia, which is the malformation of the leg bones and results the loosening of the kneecap bone.

Other types of dog arthritis are: hypertrophic dog arthritis where there is excessive bone growth and spurs in the joint; osteochondrosis, which is caused by poor diet and cartilage deterioration; and degeneration of the shoulders where a trauma or an unstable joint causes the breakdown of shoulder cartilage. As a pet owner, it is your responsibility to watch out for the signs and symptoms of dog arthritis so you can prevent it from happening. Some of the symptoms are: loss of appetite has a hard time walking and running, sleeps more/inactivity, stiffness and limping, usual urinating in the house, always irritable, and depressed or withdrawn. If more than two of these symptoms, it’s time to bring your dog to your trusted veterinarian. You need to know what kind of treatment is best for your dog so as you can help in relieving their pain. One of the common treatments is physical therapy where exercise is encouraged. This preserves join flexibility and maintains the dog’s muscles. One exercise that improves the muscles without making it tired is swimming.

Then there are medications that can relive the dog’s pain, and one recommended is Nonsteroidal Anti Inflammation Drugs or NSAIDS. This medicine will not repair the whole dog arthritis, but instead relieve the pain to, at least, make your dog’s everyday life normal. It will actually depend on the vet what medicines he or she will give base on the tests done on your dog. Last, but not the least treatment is supplements that contain glucosamine. Glucosamine promotes new cartilage growth and relieves pain, since this ingredient is always present on animal bones. It also improves mobility of the joint and can be used a dietary supplement.

A pet owner will always be responsible for his or her pet and taking care of dog arthritis is a number one priority. One of the things you can do is prevent dog arthritis by giving your dog exercise and proper diet. Watch their diet and give them food that are rich in vitamins and minerals, plus exercise for their bones to be strong and healthy.

Canine Arthritis or degenerative joint disease causes lameness, swollen joints, muscle atrophy and crepitation or dry crackling sound in joints of most breeds of dogs. Dogs experiencing arthritis can be reduced from a healthy and active life style, to a more sedentary existence as disease grows severe.


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