What is Arthritis?

Did you know that 1 in 5 dogs will experience arthritis in their lifetimes? Sadly, many of our favorite companions struggle with this disease especially since modern medicine has been able to advance dogs’ lifespans immensely. Arthritis is a joint disease that affects both dogs and humans. In dogs, arthritis causes deterioration of joint cartilage in places such as the limbs. And without cartilage to cushion your dog’s joints, it starts to get inflamed, and results in symptoms such as joint pain and can eventually lead to bone spurs if left untreated. 

How can I tell if my dog has arthritis?

  • Lower than normal exercise levels 
  • Limping
  • Lack of energy/excitement
  • Difficulty getting up
  • Unexpected weight gain
  • Soiling the house

If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog, take him/her to a vet to see if your dog has arthritis. 

Risk Factors

Some dogs are more likely to experience arthritis based on a variety of factors

  • Size of your dog (the bigger your dog is, the more your dog is at risk)
  • Obesity (Obesity causes more stress on the joints)
  • Traumatic events (broken bones, etc…)
  • Previous bacterial infections

Can Arthritis be Cured?

Sadly no. However, there are many treatment options available to decrease the pain your dog feels. 

Treatment Options

  • Give your dog a proper diet and proper exercise to help it lose weight
  • Diets high in Omega 3’s and Methylsulfonylmethane
  • Acupuncture (A procedure that involves sticking needles in the skin)
  • Other physical therapy (stretching, massage, cold & heat therapy, laser therapy, etc…)
  • Hydrotherapy
  • NSAIDs made specifically for dogs (Etogesic, Rimadyl, Metacam, Deramaxx) DO NOT USE IBUPROFEN or other pain relievers for humans
  • Other prescription pain relievers (tramadol, amantadine, gabapentin, etc…)
  • CBD options still being researched 

Your dog puts a lot of stress on its joints, and this stress over the period of a dog’s life can lead to serious deterioration of joints. Leading to a number of symptoms such as joint pain, lower energy, and even limping. If gone untreated, it can worsen and lead to bone spurs, which need to be removed surgically. Thankfully, there are plenty of treatment options available that can help comfort your dog to where it lives as if the arthritis wasn’t even there!