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Arthritis in Dogs

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Arthritis in Dogs

Inflammation of the joint is the primary symptom of arthritis and can make for an uncomfortable experience making the simplest of tasks and everyday life difficult.

Many may not realise that dogs are just as susceptible to arthritis as humans, with 20% of dogs experiencing arthritis in their lifetime.

Arthritis comes in many forms, but signs of arthritis are more common in elderly dogs.

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis in dogs, which affects multiple joints causing pain and discomfort, which can affect your dog’s daily life.

The most common joints affected by arthritis in dogs are the hips and knees but can also include the lower back, elbows and wrists.

Arthritis in dogs can be noticed from progressive limping and stiffness to the extent that your dog will rest more often than usual and can no longer do some of the things they once enjoyed, like running and going for walks.

Dog Arthritis Symptoms

The most common signs of arthritis in dogs are stiffness and limping, but other symptoms include:

  • Inability to Exercise – Arthritis may prevent your dog from exercising as usual, which can be seen in disinterest in jumping and running, difficulty climbing stairs, difficulty getting up and laying down, and lameness in legs.
  • Behavioural changes – Unexpected aggression towards other dogs or humans, irritation when touched or petted, house soiling and depression
  • Tiredness – Lethargy and sleeping more than usual

If your dog is experiencing any of the above symptoms, it is important to visit a vet, as many illnesses can cause similar symptoms.

How do Vets Test for Arthritis?

There are multiple ways that arthritis in dogs can be diagnosed, but they all rely on the owner noticing that there is a change in the dog’s behaviour.

Dogs will start to show subtle signs of discomfort, which can be most noticeable in their energy levels, a change in their posture or even just a feeling that something isn’t right.

If you suspect arthritis in your dog, you should have them examined by a vet, as other conditions may have similar symptoms but different treatments.

Vet arthritis test for dogs include:

· Blood test

· Urine Samples

· X-rays

· CT Scans

· Joint Fluid Collection

These treatments may incur significant costs if you do not have pet insurance for your dog.

What is the Causes of Arthritis in Dogs?

As arthritis can cause a lot of discomfort for your dog, it is important to know the different circumstances and conditions that can cause arthritis.

Most cases of arthritis in dogs develop due to joint instability, which results in abnormal rubbing within the joint. This can be from damage to the cartilage or, in some cases, abnormal cartilage development. Fractures or other damage caused by trauma can also result in joint instability in dogs.

Like in humans, dog arthritis often varies throughout your pet’s life and often results in the early onset of joint problems in older age.

How to Prevent Arthritis in Dogs?

It is possible to prevent the progress of arthritis in dogs which is more successful if prevention measures are started early. Preventive measures are mainly based on exercise and nutrition, ensuring your dog gets the right nutrients and regular exercise, particularly in the early years of your pet’s life. This will aid overall pet healthy and help maintain a proper weight.

Can Arthritis in Dogs be Cured?

Unfortunately, there is no cure for this progressive condition, but the preventative measures above, along with additional treatment, can relieve pain and increase the quality of life for your dog.

How to Relieve Arthritis Pain in Dogs?

Do not give your dog anything for the medicine cabinet for pain relief. Under your vets orders you can give your dog Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs(NSAIDs). Some available NSAIDs for dogs include:

· carprofen (Novox or Rimadyl)

· deracoxib (Deramaxx)

· firocoxib (Previcox)

· meloxicam (Metacam)

NSAIDs are generally safe for dogs, but in some cases, they can cause kidney, liver, or digestive problems.

If you spot any symptoms from the medication or change in your dog’s behaviour, stop giving your dog the drug and call your vet for further advice.

FAQ’s for Arthritis in Dogs

What are the main symptoms of arthritis in dogs?

Inability to exercise, behavioural changes and tiredness.

How do vets test for arthritis in dogs?

· Blood test
· Urine Samples
· X-rays
· CT Scans
· Joint Fluid Collection

What causes arthritis in dogs?

Arthritis in dogs develops as a result of joint instability which results in abnormal rubbing within the joint. This is more common in elderly dogs

How to prevent arthritis in dogs?

Preventive measures for arthritis in dogs include regular exercise and ensuring proper nutrition for your dog.

How to relieve arthritis pain in dogs?

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Rimadyl are commonly used as pain relief for dogs.