What Causes Arthritis In Dogs, Symptoms And Cure

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What Causes Arthritis In Dogs, Symptoms And Cure

What Causes Arthritis In Dogs
What Causes Arthritis In Dogs

Arthritis (sometimes called osteoarthritis) is a condition resulting in painful joints.

It is extremely common in older dogs, especially the larger breeds of dogs.

Any joint can be affected with arthritis. The most commonly affected joints include the hips, knees, shoulders, elbows, and vertebral column (back).

It is estimated that arthritis affects one in five adult dogs or more than 8 million in the US.

Arthritis may be a result of an injury or may develop for unknown reasons.

Frequently it is progressive (worsens with time). It may develop slowly or quickly. Often it begins with occasional sore days, frequently associated with weather changes or strenuous exercise.

Clinical signs in most dogs are often worse when they first get up and start to move.

Overweight dogs are most susceptible.

 

Symptoms Of Arthritis:

What Causes Arthritis In Dogs
What Causes Arthritis In Dogs

Many clinical signs may be a result of arthritis and the related pain it causes. Signs may include:

    • lack of appetite,
    • reluctance to walk, climb stairs or play,
    • limping,
    • lagging behind on walks,
    • difficulty in rising from a resting position,
    • personality changes,
    • or even crying aloud when the pain is severe.

 

 

Diagnosis Of Arthritis:

Other diseases must be ruled out before a diagnosis of arthritis can be made. Potential rule-outs include disc disease, ligament tears, bone infections, and nerve damage.

Radiographs (x-rays) are sometimes necessary to obtain the correct diagnosis.

Blood tests may be necessary as well.

 

Treatment Of Arthritis:

What Causes Arthritis In Dogs
What Causes Arthritis In Dogs

There is no need to let your dog suffer the intense pain that can be attributed to arthritis.

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Dogs do not tolerate human painkillers such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and Tylenol as well as people.

However, recent advancements in drugs for treating arthritis in dogs have greatly enhanced our ability to control the pain of osteoarthritis. Your dog’s veterinarian can prescribe safe, easy to give medications which can control your dog’s pain.

It is important to work closely with your veterinarian to minimize side effects of these drugs. Periodic comprehensive physical examinations and laboratory screening, usually in the form of blood tests, are necessary to monitor the body�s response to any long-term medication.

Other Concerns In Managing Arthritis

What Causes Arthritis In Dogs
What Causes Arthritis In Dogs

Exercise:

Regular, moderate exercise is very important in keeping joints working properly. However, over-exertion can make the condition worse. Swimming is a great exercise for arthritic dogs.

Prevent obesity:

The number one cause of malnutrition in dogs is obesity. Overfeeding, either too much food or food too rich is the major culprit. Older dogs may need no more than 50% of the calories of a young, growing dog. Overweight dogs will have more difficulties and more pain associated with arthritic joints than dogs which are not overweight.

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