Canine osteoarthritis is a condition in which the joints slowly deteriorate over time. Bone, soft tissue, and cartilage will become inflamed and deteriorate slowly. Bone growths or spurs can also form around the joints due to the inflammation. This condition can affect any joint in the body. However, the hips, elbows, knees, and lower back are usually affected.
There are many reasons why dogs can develop osteoarthritis. The most common reason is simply due to age. Joints that suffer repeated injuries can also bring about the condition. Dogs that are obese are also particularly at risk since they will place more stress on their joints.
Osteoarthritis in dogs can also develop thanks to metabolic diseases that cause damage to cartilage. Two of the most common diseases to blame include Cushing’s disease and diabetes. Joint disorders like hip and elbow dysplasia may also be to blame.
It’s quite easy to tell if your dog is suffering from canine osteoarthritis since it can be very painful. He will become more stiff and lethargic. You may also notice that he walks with a limp or has trouble getting up from laying down. His muscles may also start to waste away. Whenever the affected joints are moved, you may even hear cracking sounds.
Dogs suffering from this condition will need to be given anti-inflammatory medications. These medications will help relieve pain caused by the inflammation in the joints. Since obesity can be a problem, dogs will need to eat a balanced diet.
Eating less calories in a well-balanced diet will help lose weight and limit stress on the joints. It’s also beneficial to exercise on a daily basis to help your dog lose weight. The pain caused by osteoarthritis in dogs can vary at different times of the year.
Your dog may not need his medication at certain times since he won’t be in as much pain. You will need to take your dog to the vet for regular check-ups. The dosage of medication may need to be adjusted periodically.
It’s natural for the joints to degenerate as your dog ages. However, you can help prevent canine osteoarthritis by ensuring that your dog gets plenty of exercise, eats a balanced diet, and maintains a healthy weight. Also try to limit injuries especially recurring injuries.