Arthritis in Dogs
Arthritis is a painful condition that affects your dog’s mobility and quality of life. Fortunately the condition can often be maintained with the right balance of diet, exercise and the use of quality joint supplement for dogs.
What is Dog Arthritis?
Arthritis is a condition that affects the joints and interferes with the dogs’ daily activities.
There is more than one type of canine arthritis, but osteoarthritis is by far the most common type of arthritis in dogs. Other types of arthritis in dogs include rheumatoid arthritis (autoimmune disease that attacks the joints) and septic arthritis (caused by joint infection).
Osteoarthritis in dogs is a complex condition that involves inflammation and degeneration of one or more joints, hence often called degenerative joint disease.
In dogs with arthritis, the cartilage within the joint becomes damaged and hence less smooth. In a healthy joint, the cartilage acts as a shock absorber and as such provides a cushion between the bones which form the joint. Eroded cartilage causes the bones in the joint to rub together, which is painful and can damage the cartilage even further. This increased friction can cause new bone to form around the joint (osteophytes), making it even stiffer and more difficult to move, which makes osteoarthritis a degenerative joint disease.
How Common is Arthritis in Dogs?
Unfortunately, osteoarthritis in dogs, is one of the most common canine health problems. It is estimated it affects around 20% of all dogs, regardless of age.
Young dogs can get arthritis, but arthritis more commonly affects older pets.
What Causes Arthritis in Dogs?
There is not a single cause of arthritis in dogs, but the reasons can be divided into developmental or acquired causes.
Developmental causes of dog arthritis
Some dogs are genetically predisposed to have abnormally formed joints and some dog breeds are more prone to this, like Golden Retrievers, Labradors, German Shepherds and Rottweilers.
Acquired causes of dog arthritis
This is when the dog’s arthritis is caused by circumstances, for example when caused by injury or infection.
Can You Prevent the Development of Dog’s Arthritis?
If a dog is born with a likelihood of developing joint disease in the future, then it cannot be changed. However, the dog’s lifestyle can significantly affect how severely the arthritis will affect your dog’s quality of life.
Preventing, or at least delaying, the development of canine arthritis through diet, exercise, and the use of dog arthritis supplement is the best way to keep your dog’s joints healthy for longer.
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"This product has really helped my 8 years old dog to walk better again, as he has been diagnosed with servere hip arthritis. Besides that he is also a happier dog, which I think is due to the fact that he has less pain now. I will continue to use Maxxiflex as long as I have my beloved dog, which I hope is several years, so I really recommend this product to dogs with arthritis. Besides that I will pass on my thanks to a customer service, which is so helpfull, service minded and kind"
Common Dog Arthritis Symptoms
Common symptoms of arthritis in dogs include:
- Limping or favouring a leg
- Stiff or sore joints
- Difficulties moving, sitting or standing
- Hesitancy to jump, run or climb stairs
- Sleeping more, being less alert
- Decreased activity level
- Less interest in play
- Attitude or behavioural changes
- Weight gain
Best Arthritis Treatment for Dogs
Osteoarthritis is unfortunately a progressive disease. There is no known cure for dog arthritis. Arthritis treatments for dogs therefore mainly focus on controlling the pain and slowing down the development of the disease.
The most commonly used medications for dog arthritis are Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs). They tend to be effective in reducing arthritis pain and decreasing the inflammation in the joints. On the downside long term use of NSAIDs can have significant side effects so it is recommended to closely monitor the dog’s health while on NSAID medication, especially the liver and kidney function.
Other arthritis medication for dogs includes corticosteroid anti-inflammatory drugs (steroids) and chondroprotectants.
In some cases, joint surgery may be recommended. Arthroscopic surgery is when cartilage debris is cleaned from the joint. More complex surgeries are also available in the worst affected cases, e.g. to repair bone deformity and joint replacement.
Dog Arthritis Management
With the risk of serious side effects from medication and surgery, most dog owners prefer to use non-medical approaches to manage their dog’s arthritis for as long as possible:
Weight loss can dramatically improve mobility in overweight dogs as excess weight puts added stress on the joints, making the arthritis condition worse
Nutritiously balanced diet will help to optimise your dog’s overall health but food rich in EPA (omega 3 fatty acid) is especially beneficial for your dog’s joint health so try to include some food rich in EPA, like salmon, sardines, flax seeds, etc.
Exercise is important to keep stiff joints working but it is important that the exercise is suitable for your dog’s arthritis condition and to avoid overstressing the joints
Physical therapy, massage and stretching can help to maintain joint health and muscle strength and rehabilitation therapies, like underwater treadmills and ultrasound therapy, may help in some cases
High quality dog arthritis supplement can offer effective joint support and significantly ease symptoms in dogs with arthritis