Arthritis In Dogs

An Overview Of Arthritis In Dogs. Signs And Treatment Leave a comment

Dogs are loyal creatures. There are various conditions that affect the overall well-being of your dog. Joint problems are one of the most commonly occurring health-related conditions which impair the normal functioning of your dog. Many dog owners ask about the “causes of arthritis in dogs” and other related questions. For instance,

How arthritis occurs in dogs?

How can I know if my dog has arthritis?

What is the treatment of arthritis in dogs?

In this blog, we will discuss the important causes of arthritis in dogs and other related facts under the light of scientific literature and general field experience.

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What Is Arthritis?

Arthritis is inflammation of joints. This is one of the most frequently occurring conditions in dogs. All along with that, arthritis is one of the common causes of discomfort and pain in dogs. In arthritis, various structural and functional changes occur in the cartilage which cushions the joints. Due to these conformational changes, the cartilage becomes soft and damaged causing the bones to rub each other.

Which Dog Breeds Are More Prone To Arthritis?

Here we have listed some important breeds which are more susceptible to develop arthritis.

  1. German shepherds    Hips and elbow joints 
  2. Golden retrievers      Hips joint
  3. Labradors                  Hips and elbow
  4. Springer spaniels      Hips and elbow
  5. Rottweilers              Hips joint

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What Are The Causes Of Arthritis In Dogs?

However, arthritis is a multi-factorial condition but here we have summarized a few key causes of arthritis in dogs.

  1. Repeated trauma to joints. The most important reason is joint fracture.
  2. Obesity (This is one of the major causes of arthritis in dogs).
  3. Abnormal cartilage development (it may be congenital). Other important congenital reasons include hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, osteochondrosis etc
  4. This condition also occurs in athletic dogs because of their strenuous activity.
  5. Other important causes include several metabolic diseases such as diabetes.
  6. Aging is also an important reason. As the dog becomes aged, the joint cartilage starts degenerating.

Note: However, arthritis is commonly seen in older dogs but a young dog can also develop it.

How Can I Know If My Dog Has Arthritis?

There are various signs which an arthritic dog shows. Here, we have summarized a few important keys signs which can help you to know if your dog has arthritis or not.

  1. Dog shows lameness and reluctance to move particularly after longer period of rest.
  2. Dullness and depression
  3. Worsening symptoms with cold or damp
  4. Loss of stamina
  5. Inflamed or sore joints
  6. Dog will experience difficulty in getting up and down

How Arthritis Can Be Diagnosed In Dogs?

There are different ways that can help you in diagnosing arthritis in dogs.  For example, your dog will experience pain or discomfort on physical examination.

An X-ray can also be performed to locate any fracture or arthritic area of the body.

Blood sampling can also be performed to diagnose the underlying causes or medical conditions.

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 How Can Arthritis Be Treated In Dogs?

You need to talk to your vet if you suspect arthritis in your dog.  There are different anti-inflammatory medications that are available. These medications help to reduce the severity of pain associated with arthritis.

  • Chondroprotective agents (Cartilage protectors)

These agents help to protect the damaged cartilage and improve the condition of arthritic dogs. Such agents help to repair the damaged joints and reduce inflammation.

Example: polysulfated glycosaminoglycans, hyaluronic acid, and pentosan polysulfate.

  • Nutraceuticals:

These are specially designed nutritional supplements which help to improve the joint condition of the dog.  The important joint supplements are chondroitin and glucosamine; these are the natural components of a dog’s joint. Supplementation of these agents helps in the regeneration of joints.  In addition, other natural ingredients like curcuminoid (a component of turmeric) are potent antioxidants.

  • Weight management

As discussed earlier, obesity is one of the main causes of arthritis in dogs. This is important to manage the weight of an overweight dog. There are different exercises and medications which can help your dog to reduce weight. These specially designed weight management exercises help to strengthen the muscles around the joints and enhance the overall fitness of your beloved canine friend.

What Are Five Ways Which Can Prevent Arthritis In Dogs?

If you want to prevent arthritis in your dog, do follow the following ways.

  1. Give a balanced diet to your dog. A healthy and nutritionally sound diet prevents the incidence of arthritis in dogs.

2. Do regular vet visits with your dog.

3. Do regular exercise with your dog. Make a schedule according to your convenience.

4. Keep your dog trim

5. Ask your vet about different effective joint supplements.

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Arthritis is inflammation of a dog’s joints. This is a potentially painful condition of dogs. Dog of all ages are susceptible to get arthritis but senior dogs are at higher risk. Obesity is the major factor that predisposes dogs to get arthritis. If you suspect arthritis in your dog, talk to the vet immediately. Your vet may recommend various pain killers, nutritional joint supplements, chondroprotective agents, and exercises according to the current condition of a beloved canine friend.

Note: Don’t use any medication without taking consultancy a registered veterinary practitioner. Keep all medications away from the reach of children.

Frequently asked questions

Can I give fish oil to an arthritic dog?

Yes, fish oil is one of the awesome joint supplements. It contains omega-3 fatty acids which keep your dog’s joints healthy and sound.

Which kind of bedding I shall offer to my dog?

You should offer soft bedding to an arthritic dog. Take care of your dog’s bedding and keep him comfortable as much as you can.

What is septic arthritis in dogs?

Septic arthritis is caused by various bacteria in dogs. The important signs of septic arthritis in dogs include pain in one or more joints, heat, swelling, lack of appetite, fever and decreased motion.

Can an arthritic dog become normal again?

Yes, this is possible. Better joint care management and supplementation of supreme quality joint supplements can help your dog becoming healthy again. Being a responsible owner, you need to take care of your dog.


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Jæger, G.T., Larsen, S., Søli, N. and Moe, L., 2007. Two years follow-up study of the pain-relieving effect of gold bead implantation in dogs with hip-joint arthritis. Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica49(1), pp.1-7.

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