Canine Osteoarthritis at Animal Clinic Downtown in Chattanooga, TN
Canine osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease in dogs that causes pain and stiffness. Management involves medications, therapy, and lifestyle adjustments.
Canine osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease (DJD) or simply arthritis, is a common condition in dogs involving progressive deterioration of the articular cartilage in a joint. Articular cartilage is the smooth, slippery tissue that covers the ends of bones in a joint, allowing them to move smoothly against each other.
Osteoarthritis can develop as a result of various factors, including aging, genetics, joint instability, trauma, or underlying joint conditions. As the cartilage breaks down, the bones can rub against each other, causing pain, inflammation, and reduced joint function. Over time, the surrounding tissues may also be affected, leading to further discomfort.
Common signs of canine osteoarthritis include:
- Limping or favoring one leg: Dogs with osteoarthritis often show signs of lameness or may avoid using a particular limb.
- Stiffness: Dogs may exhibit stiffness, especially after resting or during cold weather.
- Difficulty in getting up or lying down: Arthritic dogs may struggle with basic movements, such as standing up or lying down.
- Reduced activity level: Dogs may become less active and may be less willing to engage in physical activities they once enjoyed.
- Swelling or enlargement of the joints: In some cases, the affected joints may appear swollen or larger than normal.
- Pain or discomfort: Dogs may show signs of pain, such as vocalizing, panting, or licking at the affected joints.
Management of canine osteoarthritis often involves a combination of medical and lifestyle interventions. This may include:
- Pain medications: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or other pain relievers may be prescribed by a veterinarian to manage pain and inflammation.
- Weight management: Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial to reducing stress on the joints.
- Physical therapy: Certain exercises and physical therapies can help improve joint mobility and reduce stiffness.
- Joint supplements: Some dogs may benefit from supplements containing glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, which can support joint health.
- Anti-inflammatory diets: Specialized diets with anti-inflammatory properties may be recommended.
If your pet is experiencing any of these signs, please feel free to contact us.