Just like humans, arthritis is dubbed as a rite of passage for older dogs. Arthritis is the inflammation of the joints. This is a painful condition that may affect one’s activities. The abnormal rubbing or friction causes most cases of arthritis within the joint. Many causes have been linked to dog arthritis such as ligament damage, joint instability, abnormal cartilage development, and fractures.
Arthritis is one of the top dog diseases affecting them at an older age. The signs and symptoms include:
2. Difficulty running, jumping, or playing
3. Fatigue or tiredness
5. Muscle atrophy
What is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis, also referred to as Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD), is a progressively worsening inflammation of the joint caused by the deterioration of cartilage. In a healthy joint, cartilage acts as a cushion to allow the joint to move smoothly through its full range of motion. In cases of osteoarthritis, this cartilage cushion begins to break down because of factors such as age, injury, repetitive stress, or disease. The loss of this protective cushion results in pain, inflammation, decreased range of motion, and the development of bone spurs. While any joint in the body can develop osteoarthritis, the condition most commonly affects the limbs and lower spine.
Osteoarthritis can be difficult to detect in its early stages, and often the symptoms do not become apparent until the affected joint is badly damaged. Some dogs can also be very stoic and will hide their pain until it becomes severe. Thus, it is important to monitor middle-aged to senior dogs and those predisposed to osteoarthritis for early signs of joint disease.
If you suspect your dog may be exhibiting signs of osteoarthritis, it is important to have your dog evaluated by a veterinarian, who will perform a full physical examination, including palpating your dog’s joints and assessing their range of motion. Your veterinarian may also recommend X-rays of the affected joints, which will help rule out other conditions that can cause similar symptoms. X-rays can also help your veterinarian evaluate the degree of damage to the joint.
How can Ardent Animal Health help?