Some people are troubled with a condition that commonly affects movement of joints. From the Greek word “artho” and “itis”, arthritis means joint inflammation. Commonly, this joint disease is caused by osteoarthritis, infection of the joint or old age.
Little did we know that not only humans are affected by this disease. Arthritis in dogs is also common. In fact, one out of five dogs suffer from arthritis during their lifetime. So the question is: How can pet owners know that their dogs are suffering from arthritis? Also, what are the common treatments for this disease?
Arthritis in Dogs: What are Its Symptoms
Although arthritis is commonly attached to aged dogs, younger ones can also suffer from it. Causes of arthritis include hip dysplasia, ruptured ligaments and joint trauma.
So, how can an owner say that a dog suffers from joint inflammation? Dogs can experience lameness, stiffness and joint pain. To say so, they exhibit irritability and moodiness. Before, your dog might be playful and often looks happy but with arthritis, its movements might decrease. Dogs will be less playful and often lay down. The feeling of pain increases in cold and damp surroundings.
Once diagnosis is done and x-ray is accomplished, the results will show bone density increase around the joints and space of the joint is narrowed.
Treating Dog Arthritis
What is saddening about the arthritis is that the disease is progressive and incurable. And although it cannot be stopped, physical therapy and weight control are two helpful remedies to substantially improve the dog’s life. Physical therapy will be helpful for the dog to exercise its muscles and bones. Moderate exercises are advisable also to preserve the joint flexibility. Take note, however, that too much exercise might cause pain. Thus, high jumps are not encouraged.
Studies show that bigger dogs have higher tendencies to acquire arthritis. In this regard, weight control is highly advisable. To attain this, dog owners must establish a schedule in feeding their pet. It is also helpful to measure dog food to ensure that the dog is getting enough nutrients without compromising its body’s needs. Lastly, analgesics prescribed by a veterinary doctor would also be helpful to ease the pain and improve functions.
Problems that lead to arthritis commonly begins in the early pet life. Pet owners might not even notice the pain or lameness in the pets younger years. However, it is always important that starting from the younger years, the dog must be exercised to avoid future problems especially on its bones and muscles. And yes, arthritis in dogs is common.