Arthritis In Dogs

Signs That Your Dog Has Arthritis

Normal Knee Joint On A Dog With Arthritis X-ray
Normal Dog Knee Joint And One With Arthritis X-ray

Many dog owners may experience or see their pet suffering from arthritis. Sometimes this may not be easy to spot right away. You may have to take your dog to a vet to be sure. Most dogs will give off some sign or signs that they may be suffering from arthritis. This is where Arthritis in Dogs will provide you with some answers on how this disease effects every one out of three dogs today.

What are some effects or reasons how dogs get arthritis? Below are some of them:

  • Hip Dysplasia (This is congenital or a born/inborn disease)
  • Lyme Disease
  • Ligament, tendon, or muscle disease
  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
  • Dietary and hormonal disease (obesity)
  • Cancer
  • Traumatic Injury (being hit by a car)
  • Degenerative spinal joint disease
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Rupturing or tearing a ligament such as the ACL in the knee
  • Fractures involving the joint

Dog Breeds Prone To Arthritis

There are certain breeds of dogs that are more prone in getting arthritis than others and they are listed below:

  • German Shepherds
  • Golden Retrievers
  • Labrador Retrievers
  • Dachshunds
  • Newfoundlands
  • Bernard’s
  • Rottweilers
  • Mastiffs
  • Great Danes
  • Old English Sheep Dogs
Dog With Arthritis In Back Legs
Dog With Arthritis In Back Legs

Large, heavy dogs are more likely to suffer from arthritis, as they tend to grow quickly, age faster, and participate in more excessive exercise than smaller breeds.

Now, that you know the top ten breed of dogs that are prone to arthritis, you can be on alert if they show any of the signs or symptoms so treatment can begin.

Types of Arthritis

Many pet parents don’t realize there’s more than one type of arthritis that can affect a dog or cat.

  • There’s the type of arthritis everyone is familiar with, which is called osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease. This type of arthritis is commonly seen in older animals.
  • There’s septic arthritis, which is inflammation and degeneration of a joint or joints caused by infection.
  • And there’s also another type of arthritis called immune-mediated polyarthritis, which can take many forms and occurs when a pet’s immune system attacks the joints of the body.

How To Diagnose Arthritis

Below are some of the ways that vets use to help diagnose arthritis in dogs.

  • X-rays
  • Blood Tests

Noticeable signs or symptoms that a dog may be experiencing arthritis.

  • They might show a limp
  • Holding a limb up
  • Holding the limb funny
  • Trouble getting up and down stairs
  • Trouble getting in and out of a car or van
  • Trouble getting up on the couch
  • Lagging behind during walks
  • Doesn’t want to play as long at dog parks

What you need to know here is that dogs will not typically show or cry out if they are experiencing any pain and this is also true for arthritis.

If you should notice your pet doing or having difficulty in any of the above signs or symptoms, it needs to be looked into to determine if it’s an arthritic problem. A trip to the vet will be in order.

Dog With Arthritis In Front Legs
Dog With Arthritis In Front Legs

Arthritic Treatments

Once you know that your dog has an arthritic problem, just how will it be treated? Basically there are three different ways that is used in treating dog arthritis and they are described below.

  1. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications
  2. Product called Adequan
  3. Drug called Comfort or Superoxide Dismutase

Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Medications

Some veterinarians may use the drug for treating arthritis called NSAIDS. These are non-cortisone drugs and what they do is go in and decrease the inflammation of arthritis in a joint or a bone. These are good, but they do not always go to the source of the problem. They do take care of some of the inflammation if it’s short term and in some cases long term.

Drug Called Adequan

Most veterinarians probably will use Adequan which is a glucosamine product. It is purified and is given only by injection. It goes straight into a muscle group absorbed by the bloodstream and goes to any joint that needs cartilage. This is basically a cartilage replacer. It is more effective than human glucosamine products that can be bought over the counter or any drug or grocery store. This is usually what is used by most vets when trying to treat arthritis for dogs. This treatment is very effective and successful.

Drug Called Comfort or Superoxide Dismutase

This is basically an enzyme that goes in and decreases the molecular process of arthritis. This is also known as SOD and has been advocated for human patients and animal patients with some success.


Now that you know how a dog can get arthritis and what is being used today to help your dog to recover from this disease through various treatments. It is important that you always be observant of your dog whenever you do anything with them inside or outside. If they should display any of the signs or symptoms of arthritis you can take care of it quickly.

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