Did you know that one in five dogs will experience arthritis in their lifetime?
Thankfully, there are many treatment options available to use if your dog does develop the condition – so don’t fret! That said, if you suspect any arthritis in your dog (or maybe it’s already obvious), definitely be sure to stay on top of it with your vet.
In this article, let’s take a closer look at the most common types of arthritis in dogs and what symptoms you should look out for.
What Is Arthritis?
Arthritis is the (painful) inflammation of joints, resulting in stiffness, pain, and even difficulty moving. Apart from injury, aging, or long term wear and tear, the condition can also be caused by a broad array of ailments including immune-mediated disease, trauma, metabolic issues and even infections, such as those contracted from ticks.
What Are the Common Types of Arthritis in Dogs?
There are several types of arthritis that your dog may develop as they age. Depending on the type of arthritis they develop, the treatment options to help your dog live pain-free may vary.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common types of arthritis in dogs:
Osteoarthritis / Degenerative Joint Disease
Osteoarthritis is a type of progressive degenerative disease that affects the cartilage in your dog’s joints. This type of arthritis is commonly seen in older dogs.
Hip dysplasia occurs when there is a deformity in the hip of your dog as they grow. Since the hip is a type of ball and socket joint, hip dysplasia can occur when the head of the femur and the socket of the pelvis grow at different rates.
In some situations, this can cause your dog to develop osteoarthritis, as his or her body consistently has to overcompensate in some way to stabilize the hip joint (resulting in faster wear and tear).
Elbow dysplasia occurs when there is a skeletal abnormality in your dog’s elbow. This condition can begin developing when they’re young and evolve into more apparent malformation as they grow up. Such malformation in the joint will lead to degeneration and discomfort.
Knee dysplasia occurs when the kneecap of your dog’s leg is not properly connected with his or her thigh bone. This is one of the most prevalent types of knee issues that you can find in dogs. It’s most commonly developed in miniature and toy breeds, such as Boston Terriers, Yorkshire Terriers, Pomeranians, and Chihuahuas.
Signs and Symptoms of Arthritis in Dogs
It can be difficult to identify arthritis in younger dogs since many obvious symptoms don’t appear until the condition has become more severe. Here are some of the most common signs and symptoms of arthritis in dogs:
- Swelling in joints
- Muscle wasting
- Loss of appetite or unexplained weight gain
- Having accidents
- Significant changes in behavior
- Difficulty getting up
- Pain when being touched
- Loss of muscle mass over the affected limbs
- Difficulty posturing to defecate or urinate
If your dog is showcasing multiple symptoms on this list, have a talk with your veterinarian. Together, you and your vet can develop a treatment plan to alleviate the pain that your dog is feeling.
What Breeds Are the Most Likely to Develop Joint Problems?
While, arthritis can affect all types of dogs, certain breeds are more likely to develop joint problems than others. Here’s a list of the most common breeds that are likely to develop joint problems:
- Labrador Retrievers
- German Shepherds
- Great Danes
- Saint Bernards
- Old English Sheepdogs
- Golden retrievers
- French bulldogs
- German Shorthaired Pointers
- Yorkshire Terriers
It’s important that you visit your veterinarian regularly if you have one of these above-listed breeds. This is because the veterinarian will perform regular physical exams and diagnostic tests to see if they are able to determine the development of arthritis in your dog before your dog’s pain gets too severe.
Staying Proactive – Proper Joint Supplementation for Dogs
Needless to say, different situations will require different levels of treatments. Certain types of arthritis in dogs may even require pharmaceutical drugs or surgery (talk to your vet about how to proceed in a case by case scenario). That being said, such expensive, not to mention, potentially risky options are simply not needed in most cases.
Instead, many pet owners have found that a natural joint care supplement is not only super effective at maintaining their dogs joint health but also way more affordable and realistic to stick with. Whether you want to help your dog with existing pain or stay proactive against future issues, a proper joint supplement can go a long way in maintaining pain free joints and maximum mobility.
Click here to learn more about Bark Nutrition’s Complete Joint Care For Dogs!