Like humans, dogs can also get arthritis due to old age, joint infections, and traumatic injury to joints, dietary imbalance, auto immune diseases and hormonal imbalance. Genetic factors, breed susceptibility, over weight and lack of exercise can also be predisposing factors for arthritis.
On an average, a dog’s skeletal system has 319 bones regardless of the breed type. The structure comprises different kinds of bones and joints that undergo several changes due to environmental challenges.
The first seven to eight months are very important in a pup’s life as this is the period of rapid growth and development. Proper supplementation of essential minerals such as calcium and phosphorus is important during this period. Along with oral supplementation, proper exercise for the pup will help to keep the body in proper shape and to ensure a strong skeletal system.
The most common form of arthritis in dogs is osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease)
- Favoring a particular limb
- Hesitancy to jump, run or climb the stairs
- Behavioral changes such as prolonged sleeping
- Reduction in alertness
- Stiff, sore joints and lameness
- Reluctance to play or work
- Joint enlargement or swelling
- Weight gain
Physical examination and an x-ray are required to diagnose arthritis.
- Regular exercise
- Non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) supplementation to reduce pain and inflammation, although with side effects
- Dietary provision of nutrients such as Glucosamine, Chondritin sulfate and Hyaluronic acid salt formulations are very effective as they provide structural support
- Therapy including NSAIDS, Glucosamine, Chondritin sulfate and Hyaluronic acid
- Proper diet can be used as a preventive for control of canine arthritis in older dogs.