What Is Arthritis in Dogs?
Content Sponsored by Glyde Mobility Chews
Puppies start out with boundless energy. It’s often hard to keep up. Then over time, just as some humans might slow down with age, some dogs might too. This can be caused by the joint disease of osteoarthritis (OA), or simply, arthritis in dogs. Arthritis can impact all types of breeds at all different ages. Even though there is no cure for this degenerative joint disease, prevention and early diagnosis can help keep your dog active and enhance quality of life.
Arthritis, or osteoarthritis in dogs, is also referred to as Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD). It is an inflammation of the joint that worsens with time and is brought on by the degeneration of cartilage. A healthy joint uses cartilage as a cushion to move easily over its whole range of motion. When cartilage cushion degenerates, as a result of age, trauma, overuse, stress, or disease, the painful joint disease of arthritis takes hold.
5 Key Risk Factors for Dog Arthritis
Here are the 5 key factors when determining a dog’s risk:
- Breed: The larger the breed, the higher the risk of arthritis. Giant dog breeds like Great Danes and Saint Bernards, as well as large dog breeds like Labradors, Retrievers, and Shepherds have a higher risk of developing arthritis at a young age, and will likely show signs of arthritis as they get older. Medium-sized dogs such as Beagles and Bulldogs are also at risk. Surprisingly, a percentage of small and toy breeds even get arthritis.
- Age: Arthritis in dogs does not just affect older dogs, it is also prevalent in younger dogs too. 80% of dogs will show signs of OA by age 8, and 20% will show signs as early as 1 year of age.
- Weight: Dogs with extra weight are more likely to have arthritis than dogs that are in shape. It’s important to know the optimal weight for your dog’s breed and size, and keep your dog as close to that weight as possible.
- Health History and Issues: Consider if your dog has joint issues such as hip or elbow dysplasia, knee problems, ligament injuries, or had an accident that has resulted in joint surgery. These are all health history issues that may contribute to your dog developing arthritis.
- Mobility Assessment: Do you see your dog doing less and less? Do they have problems with stairs, or jumping where they once jumped before?
What Are the Signs of Arthritis?
It’s important to know what to look for in signs of arthritis in dogs. Our dogs are good at hiding pain, so sometimes there are no signs. Dogs are always people pleasers, and they want us to be happy, so they will try to maintain a happy outlook on life even if they are in pain. Here are some signs that your dog might be developing arthritis:
- Stiffness, lameness, limping, or difficulty getting up
- Sleeping more than usual
- Reluctance to run, jump, or play
- Weight gain
- Behavior changes, such as growling when petted or touched
- Difficulty posturing to urinate or defecate, or having accidents in the house
- Loss of muscle mass over the limbs and spine
If you suspect your dog may be exhibiting signs of osteoarthritis, it is important to have your dog evaluated by a veterinarian who will perform a full physical examination, including palpating your dog’s joints and assessing their range of motion. Your veterinarian may also recommend X-rays of the affected joints, which will help rule out other conditions that can cause similar symptoms. X-rays can also help your veterinarian evaluate the degree of damage to the joint.
Treatment of Osteoarthritis
Just as arthritis is painful for people, it is for dogs as well. Unfortunately, dogs can’t talk to tell us if they are in pain. All you can do is observe their behavior. Based on the risk factors listed above, you can determine if your dog might be at risk.
There are a variety of treatment options to help alleviate the signs of arthritis, ranging from therapy to medication and supplements. Consult a veterinarian to see what works best for your dog. Typically, recommendations include weight loss, exercise, and the addition of a high-quality joint supplement, such as Glyde Mobility Chews for Dogs, to your dog’s diet.
Glyde is one of the top vet-recommended joint supplements for dogs because of their three key ingredients: glucosamine, chondroitin, and green lipped mussel (GLM). These pet-safe ingredients help increase mobility and decrease pain, improving your dog’s overall quality of life. Plus, dogs love the taste and consider them a treat.
Glyde Mobility Chews for dogs, made by Parnell Living Science, are a powerful joint supplement with strong scientific backing to promote healthy joints. Count on Glyde to help reduce inflammation, improve function, and slow progression of joint damage and arthritis for your dog. With Glyde, protecting your dog’s joints is as easy as giving them a daily chew they think is a treat.