Is your dog having trouble getting up from the floor or climbing stairs?
Is she running, jumping and playing less?
Is he limping?
Does your dog yelp when you touch her, or move away to avoid being touched?
These are behavior changes commonly seen in a dog that has arthritis.
The causes and symptoms of arthritis are the same in dogs as in people. The main feature of arthritis is persistent swelling of one or more joints—the place wherever two movable bones come together—that causes pain.
Normally, cartilage acts as a cushion to keep bones from grinding against each other and wearing down. A layer of cells surrounding a joint produces a thick, clear fluid, which keeps the cartilage lubricated so the joint can move freely. Anything that reduces the production of fluid increases friction in the joint. If this condition continues, the excess friction will wear away the cartilage so movement becomes more difficult and painful.
The cause of the excess friction in a dog’s joints determines the type of arthritis it has. The two main classifications of arthritis are degenerative arthritis and inflammatory arthritis. Treatment of every type of arthritis focuses on removing the cause of, or reducing, the inflammation in the joint.
A. Degenerative arthritis occurs when the cartilage dries out.
Veterinarians often see this condition in older dogs, because aging reduces production of the lubricating fluid in the joints. Any joint—including the vertebrae in the spine—can be affected. For 20+ years, veterinarians in Europe have been achieving significant Continue reading