Canine Arthritis is a common ailment as dog’s age. It is
similar to humans as calcification and inflammation cause joint pain and reduced activity. Some forms of
arthritis like Canine Hip Dysplasia can develop early in life due to genetics and diet. Fortunately, arthritis in dogs can be treated.
Treatments for canine arthritis range from natural
supplements using chondroitin and glucosamine, to veterinary prescribed drugs. Studies and actual results have
shown that natural supplements can be extremely effective in fighting the effects of arthritis in dogs without
the potentially dangerous side effects of veterinary prescribed drugs. Before deciding which treatment option is best for your dog, you should
observe the signs of dog arthritis.
Signs of Dog Arthritis
1. Limping and
general reduced activity.
2. Favouring one
or both of the front or back limbs.
activity or cold weather makes the dog less active.
rising from a resting position, especially in the morning.
5. Pain to the
6. Reluctance to
If you suspect your dog has arthritis, you should know the
different forms or types of arthritis. The most common disorders are listed below.
Types of Dog Arthritis
Osteoarthritis – Also known as canine arthritis or dog arthritis, it is the
most common form of arthritis and most easily treated. Develops slowly as the dog ages.
Rheumatoid Arthritis - This is an immune mediated disease and can affect the whole
body. Several joints can be affected and the lameness can come and go without notice. Considered a more serious
condition than dog osteoarthritis.
Degenerative Disc Disease - This is where the discs in the vertebrae develop
calcification and become rigid. They become less able to withstand compression. This can lead to a severe injury
and paralysis if the discs rupture or become herniated.
Stifle Joint Disorder - This is a condition in which the knee and joint becomes
unstable. This is usually from a stretched or torn ligament. This can also cause the joint cartilage to become
damaged and inflamed.
Canine Hip Dysplasia - This is caused by looseness in the socket connecting the
thighbone and hipbone. This development usually occurs when the dog is young but can develop at any age. A
common sign is to hear a clicking sound when the dog walks.
Natural Supplements – Most natural supplements use chondroitin and/or glucosamine
as its primary ingredient. All of the glucosamine forms originate
and are extracted from shellfish. Chrondroitin is derived from animal cartilage. Many products like use glucosamine and chondroitin and combine additional
supplements to provide a synergistic effect. Besides glucosamine and chondroitin, some of the more popular and
effective supplements added are msm, ester-c, and hyaluronic acid.
Many studies have been done which have proved the effectiveness of these supplements in humans. Dog owners have also reported many
positive outcomes for their dogs using these natural supplements.
Prescription Drugs- These drugs are obtained by prescription only. They are
called NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). These are effective but must be used as
Surgery - Surgery can be an easy decision or a very difficult
decision. Often, money is a concern and some surgeries like disc surgery can cost around $3,500. Often, the age
of the dog has to be considered when making this decision. And the outlook and prognosis is very important. You do not want the dog
to suffer unnecessarily. At the very least, you should only consider surgery after ensuring an accurate
diagnosis has been made. This may involve taking x-rays and a myelogram. A myelogram is done by injecting dye in
the spinal canal to enable your doctor to detect abnormalities of the spine, spinal cord, or surrounding
Summary - Dog Arthritis can be a very debilitating disease if
left untreated. Dog owners should pay close attention to their animals and take prompt action when symptoms are
noticed. Often a natural supplement is all that is needed to help your dog. Sometimes more aggressive treatments are needed such as surgery. The most
important thing is to notice and diagnose the problem and then decide what treatment is best for your