The canine arthritis or degenerative arthritis is the inflammation of the joints of dogs, a condition that accuse with age, as they are wearing their cartilage, but can also affect younger dogs. The causes are various: from a blow to an infection. In some animals the disease has an autoimmune origin and there are those that develop it due to their genetic inheritance. There are also canids that suffer from it as a result of an inadequate diet or a digestive disease (dyspepsia). Even obesity can be an important determining factor in defining the appearance of osteoarthritis in our dog.
How to detect canine osteoarthritis
There are a series of symptoms that can show that our dog suffers from arthritis . They are as follows:
- Reduced movements. As we have noted, arthritis reduces the mobility of dogs. Therefore, if a dog suffers from osteoarthritis, we will see that the animal has problems moving with agility, that its movements are slow and rigid, that it has difficulty lying down or getting up from its bed, jumping, running, and even climbing stairs.
- The inflammation of the joints causes pain in the dog. In addition, it can affect the nerves in that in some cases protrusions appear on the extremities that press on the nervous system.
- Deformity or atrophy. As in humans, osteoarthritis can also cause deformity and atrophy in the extremities.
- Apathy, sadness. The limitation of mobility causes our animal to show an apathetic, sad, off state.
- As the disease progresses, in addition to lumps and deformity, the dog may become lame.
- Significant weight loss Arthritis usually reduces appetite, so many dogs that suffer from this ailment do not eat or eat little, which affects their weight, which decreases considerably.
- Cracking of the joints. In some cases the movement may be accompanied by noises or creaks due to the friction that occurs in the joints.
How to treat canine arthritis?
If we notice that our animal may suffer from this disease, it is best that we take him to the vet to confirm the ailment and inform us about the best treatment. This professional will recommend taking anti-inflammatories and analgesics to combat moments of pain or inflammation.
Likewise, they will advise a suitable diet to promote the regeneration of cartilage, especially in those cases in which obesity or digestive problems are behind osteoarthritis.
Applying heat is another of the remedies that the veterinarian will give us, especially in cold seasons or during rainy days, which is when the dogs are most in pain.
Of course, he will recommend that the animal is at rest and that it has a comfortable space where it can rest.
Finally, the specialist may assess the use of vitamins, nutritional supplements or corticosteroids to stop joint wear.
If these treatments do not improve the disease or it is very serious, the veterinarian may recommend surgery. In any case, he will be the one to assess whether it is necessary and to dictate the rules to be followed during the moments before and after the intervention.