Arthritis in Senior Dogs Signs and Treatment
You might have noticed your older dog slowing down in recent years. Maybe he is playing less and sleeping more. Although this might seem normal for an aging canine, arthritis could be to blame.
What Is Arthritis?
There are several different types of arthritis that can affect dogs, but the most common is osteoarthritis — also known as degenerative joint disease. This condition can affect up to one out of five adult dogs. Aging is a definite contributor to the development of osteoarthritis, but there are other factors as well, such as old injuries, metabolic disorders, like diabetes, and obesity. As dogs age, the cartilage in their joints begins to thin. This cartilage serves to cushion and protect the bones in the joint, and if it thins too much, the bones can rub against each other and break down. The resulting friction causes pain and loss of mobility. Inflammation in the joint capsule can also lead to the development of extra bony growths, known as spurs. Any joint in your dog’s body can be affected by osteoarthritis, but the most common locations are the hips, elbows, knees, wrists, shoulders, ankles, and lower back.