On this page we will be talking about the type of arthritis that isn’t caused by a primary problem, such as infection or a fracture. Arthritis is a disease that affects the joints of animals. It’s most common in older dogs and tends to be worse in dogs that are overweight. It can cause trouble walking and lameness.
Is my dog affected by arthritis?
If your dog has trouble getting up when he lies down or is gradually getting more lame he or she could be affected by arthritis. Arthritis can also present as a reluctance to walk and play, or a slight stiffness while walking.
What to do if you think your dog might have arthritis
The best thing to do is to bring your dog to the vet for a check-up. The vet will ask you some questions and do a physical examination of your dog. Is it not always possible to confirm arthritis just by taking a history and a physical examination; in some cases additional work-up, for instance X-rays, are needed.
Treatment for arthritis
Unfortunately arthritis can’t be cured, but with the help of medication and /or food supplements it can be possible to manage arthritis in such a way that an animal feels well enough to move happily. These therapies will help to slow down the progress of the disease, too. In some case surgery is an option, but X-rays will be needed to see if surgery is a possible treatment.
Other things that aid in treatment
Arthritis generally gets worse if the joints have to bear more pressure. This means that is important to keep an arthritic dog lean, as body weight will put excessive pressure on the joints. In addition to this it is important to prevent your dog from running around too much and doing things like walking up stairs and jumping in the back of the car. Lead walks and swimming are good exercise though.
Arthritis is an inflammation of a joint. The inflammation will reduce the quality of the cartilage, which will lead to more inflammation, and a vicious cycle is born. The disease will prevent the bones on each side of the joint from moving smoothly relative to each other and this could lead to excessive formation of bone, which will aggravate the problem further. It is this excessive bone formation that is visible on X-rays in some cases.