Canine arthritis or degenerative arthritis is inflammation of the joints of dogs, an ailment that they accuse with age, as they wear out their cartilage, but which can also affect younger dogs. The causes are several: from a blow to an infection. In some animals the disease has an autoimmune origin and some develop it due to its genetic inheritance. There are also canines that suffer from an inadequate diet or digestive disease (dyspepsia). Even obesity can be an important condition to define the appearance of osteoarthritis in our dog.
How to detect canine osteoarthritis
There are a number of symptoms that may indicate that our dog is suffering from arthritis.They are the following:
- Reduced movements. As we have pointed out, arthritis reduces the mobility of dogs. Therefore, if a dog suffers from arthrosis we will see that the animal has problems to move with agility, that his movements are slow and rigid, that he has difficulty lying down or getting out of his bed, jumping, running, and even climbing stairs.
- Pain. The inflammation of the joints causes pain in the dog. In addition, it can affect the nerves because in some cases protuberances arise in the extremities that press their nervous system.
- Deformity or atrophy. As in humans, osteoarthritis can also cause deformity and atrophy of the extremities.
- Apathy, sadness. The limitation of mobility causes our animal to show an apathetic, sad, dull state.
- Limp. As the disease progresses, in addition to protuberances and deformity, the dog may suffer lameness.
- Significant weight loss. Arthritis usually reduces the appetite, that is why many dogs suffering from this disease 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 crunches due to the friction that occurs in the joints.
How to treat canine arthritis?
If we notice that our animal can suffer this disease, it is best that we take it to the veterinarian so that it confirms the illness to us and informs us on the best treatment. This professional will recommend taking anti-inflammatories and analgesics to combat moments of pain or inflammation.
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It will also advise an adequate diet to promote the regeneration of cartilage, especially in those cases where 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 pained.
Of course, it will recommend that the animal is at rest and has a comfortable space to 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 the surgery. In any case, it will be he who values if necessary and dictates the norms to follow during the moments before and after the intervention.
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