How To Recognize Arthritis in Dogs – Symptoms To Watch Out For
Arthritis in dogs is commonly thought to affect older animals. However, it is sometimes found in younger dogs too. It is caused by a thinning or deterioration of the cartilage in the joints. Unfortunately, the condition cannot be reversed. Arthritis causes pain and this pain needs to be managed. Dogs can't tell us when they're are suffering so we need to watch out for other symptoms, These can include reluctance to move, stiffness, swollen joints or lethargy. Dogs affected by arthritis are usually slower to get up in the mornings, they show less interest in exercise and tend to sleep more than they did before. This additional time spent asleep can lead to weight gain.
It seems that no particular breeds of dog have a predisposition to arthritis. However some larger breeds which have a predisposition to hip dysplasia and some other conditions can sometimes develop arthritis as a result of having these conditions. Working dogs, which generally do much more exercise than the average dog in the course of their lifetime and also overweight dogs are more prone to arthritis than others.
If you would like to find more about this condition, the Kennel Club of Great Britain have just published an article on their blog which discusses the causes symptoms and treatment of arthritis in dogs.
Here is an extract from the article:
Arthritis simply means 'inflammation of the joints' and is a common problem for many dogs. Most of you will no doubt know of a dog suffering from arthritis that has shown the textbook signs of pain, discomfort and stiffness.
Inside a dog's joints, bone surfaces are normally covered with a thin layer of very smooth cartilage, lubricated with a small amount of joint fluid that allows the two surfaces to glide freely over one another with minimum friction. In dogs with arthritis, cartilage within the joint undergoes change or damage, becoming less smooth and resulting in the bone surfaces rubbing together. This causes discomfort to your dog, as well as further damage to cartilage. As a direct result of this increased friction, new bone starts to form around the joint making the joint stiffer, which limits its movement even more - a condition known as degenerative joint disease.
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