Arthritis in dogs is more common than you have probably known. In the United States alone dogs with arthritis treatment is one of the most common cases handled by vets every year, considering around 20 percent of the adult dog population is affected by such disease.
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is a degenerative condition, a form of joint disorder which involves inflammation in one or more joints. While there are many types of arthritis, the most common forms of arthritis in human are degenerative joint disease called osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, septic arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and diseases related to autoimmune. Arthritis in dogs may occur in those carrying inherited orthopedic disorder such as hip dysplasia or osteochondrosis, those with joint injury and infection and also those with related autoimmune diseases.
Hip dysplasia is one of the most common culprits responsible for arthritis in dogs, especially in large and giant breeds. Dogs with arthritis like this will reduce movement on the hip and keep their legs move together in “bunny hopping” style, or have much less dynamic movement such as jumping and running. To compensate limited movement on the hip, the dogs will adapt by using the spine to move, which often causing spinal problems to arise.
Although canine hip dysplasia are considered heritable, latest research suggested that environment also plays a significant role, however it’s still not clear to what degree its contribution is. Included in environmental influences are what happened to a dog in its early life, such as ligament tear or overexertion on hip joint in its first year as a puppy. Unnecessary repetitive motion on the forming joint like jogging with the owner also contributes to the problem because the puppy’s joints are still developing.
Overfeeding a dog also can cause this problem because an overweight dog will put more load on its joints, including the hip.
In most dogs, hip dysplasia becomes noticeable after they reach 18 month age. Depends on the condition and the dog’s activity, the joints disorder can be anywhere from mild to severely crippling. Late treatment may eventually lead to severe osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis is defined as a degenerative joint disease that results from the destruction of cartilage. Osteoarthritis is often triggered by abnormal joints like hip dysplasia. The hip of dogs suffering from hip dysplasia can’t withstand normal amount of stress, which condition will lead to the hip destruction. Osteoarthritis can also develop from traumatic injuries and strenuous exercise. Again, how the joints develop during the first year or two year and the stress levels placed on them are important factors responsible in arthritis in dogs. Stress levels include overweight condition and the amount of exercises a dog is taking.
Arthritis in Dogs Treatment
Arthritis treatment for dogs can be quite complex and time consuming because what work for a dog may not work for others. As a dog owner you can choose to purchase NSAIDs painkillers for dogs, or dog joint supplements like glucosamine chondroitin that have less side effects and is considered to be safer. Whatever the option is, it is important to learn all the side effects of such medications before making decision. Remember that not all treatments for arthritis in dogs are made equal.