What Causes Dog Arthritis?

Dog Arthritis Causes

Unlike other ailments that can affect your dog’s such as diarrhea or vomiting, dog arthritis isn’t just instantly apparent. It may take years for your dog to develop arthritis and you may not even recognize that the dog has arthritis until it is almost a cripple.


What Causes Dog Arthritis?

The Types Of Dog Arthritis

The type of arthritis that is most generally associated with dogs is called osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease. It is a common condition that will affect one out of every 5 dogs during their lifetimes. And this may surprise you but arthritis isn’t a disease that happens to just older dogs.

Conditions such as hip dysplasia, joint trauma, patella luxation, and other joint diseases can all result in the development of degenerative arthritis even in young dogs.

A second, less common form of dog arthritis is called infectious arthritis. Tick-borne infections like Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Lyme disease, and canine ehrlichiosis, can all cause dog arthritis.

There is also a condition called fungal arthritis but it is a rare complication that comes as the result of a systemic fungal infection.

Finally, there is immune-mediated dog arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis. It sometimes happens to toy breeds and other small breeds at approximately 4 years of age.

A condition called nonerosive arthritis can occur in midsize and large-breed dogs at about 5 to 6 years of age. No one knows what causes this form of arthritis.

The Symptoms Of Dog Arthritis

You love your dog and are careful to make sure it gets the right diet and plenty of exercises. You should also watch for the signs of arthritis in your canine pal.

The most obvious of these is if you notice your dog is favoring one of its limbs or seems to have a problem standing or sitting. Another symptom is if it seems reluctant to jump, run or climb up stairs. The dog may also show signs of stiff or sore joints.

There are some less visible signs that your dog may have arthritis. For example, it may be sleeping more than usual, gain weight, or show a decreased interest in playing. He or she may bark or whine when touched. It may even seem less alert and actually resist your touch.

When Your Dog May Show The Most Visible Signs Of Arthritis

If your dog develops osteoarthritis, it may show varying degrees of stiffness and lameness that will be more evident in the morning and when the dog gets up from a nap.

It may seem irritable and have the kind of behavioral changes you would associate with increasing disability. For example, the dog may show more signs of stiffness or pain on cold or wet days. Unfortunately, osteoarthritis is progressive and over time will make your dog’s life miserable.

How Dog Arthritis Is Diagnosed

If your dog exhibits the kind of symptoms described above, you can just about be sure that it has dog arthritis. However, x-raying the dog’s joints is how your vet will make a definitive diagnosis.

If the dog does have osteoarthritis, the x-rays will show bone spurs at points where the ligaments and the joint capsule attach to the bone.

How To Keep Your Dog Comfortable?

While dog arthritis cannot be cured, there are ways to control it and keep the dog comfortable. Your veterinarian will advise you as to what physical therapy or weight control might help improve your dog’s life. He or she may also prescribe analgesics or corticosteroids to relieve the dog’s pain.



If Your Dog Is One Of Five

If your dog is the unlucky one of five that develops arthritis, take heart. There are things you can do to mitigate the effects of dog arthritis and give your dog a better life.

Just make sure you get him or her to the vet so that you can get treatment started before your dog becomes seriously crippled.

Contributed By Seoabigal10

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