Arthritis in Dogs

If you have noticed recent changes in your dog’s mobility, he/she may be experiencing arthritis. Arthritis is a degenerative joint disease that results from wear and tear on joints as your dog becomes older. The cartilage between two bones wears away. This causes the bones to touch, resulting in pain and inflammation.

Dogs that have previously suffered joint injuries, bone fractures, ruptured ligaments, luxating patella, or hip dysplasia have a higher probability of developing arthritis.Dogs experiencing arthritis may become withdrawn and their activity level may decrease. You may notice limping, soreness when picked up, yelping, licking limbs and paws, reluctance to run or jump, stiffness, or difficulty getting up from the laying position.

If you have noticed any of these changes in your dog, you should discuss the symptoms with your veterinarian. He will perform a thorough examination and may recommend x-rays. Providing daily exercise and maintaining your dog’s ideal body weight is very important in preventing and slowing arthritis. Glucosamine and Chondroitin supplements can help repair and regenerate cartilage, while Omega-3 Fatty Acids can help alleviate inflammation. In cases of more progressed symptoms, your dog may be prescribed a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), such as Carprofen or Meloxicam. These pain-relieving medications can have side-effects, so periodic monitoring of blood work is necessary during their use.

With proper preventative measures and management of pain, your older dog can live much happier and more comfortably.