Arthritis | ASPCA

Posted: September 3, 2015 at 5:43 am

Canine arthritis, also known as osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease, is characterized by pain and inflammation in a dogs joints. Arthritis is caused by the breaking down of smooth cartilage that covers and protects the bones that form a joint. Once the bones are exposed, painful wear and tear can occur.

Dogs who have canine arthritis may:

A veterinarian may conduct a physical exam, take radiographs and perform other diagnostic tests to help determine the cause of your dogs pain. He or she will also check your dogs medical history for previous injuries and consider possible inherited conditions.

Canine arthritis can occur as a result of:

Note: If a larger dog suffers any injuries or sprains during his growth period, this can cause him to develop arthritis later in life.

Although certain larger breed dogs such as mastiffs and Great Danes are susceptible to arthritis, the condition can develop in all breeds and mixed breeds as the result of joint infection, dislocation, trauma or family genetics. Elder dogs also often develop arthritis as a result of aging.

Keeping your dog fit with exercise and proper nutrition may, in some cases, help prevent arthritis, or possibly slow its progression once the condition has set in. In fact, if your dog is a larger breed, it's necessary to monitor the type and amount of food given when his bones are still growing. However, arthritic conditions cannot always be predicted or prevented, especially those that are inherited.

Once symptoms of arthritis set in, there is no cure. Its important for you to work with your veterinarian to create a program to minimize your dogs pain while keeping him healthy. Some general treatment options may include:

Note: Please do not give your dog human medication without first checking with your vet.

Generally, dogs with arthritis should engage in daily low-impact exercise such as walking or, if possible, swimming.

If your dog has arthritis, here are a few ways that you can make her more comfortable.

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Arthritis | ASPCA

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