Types Of Canine Arthritis And Their Treatment

Did you know that dogs are affected by arthritis just like humans? And just as with humans, there are many causes and classifications of canine arthritis. The term arthritis actually means inflammation of the joint. This inflammation can be triggered by aging, trauma, ruptured tendons, torn ligaments, degenerative joint disease and also lack of activity. Below are some of the common forms of canine arthritis:

Canine Arthritis: Osteoarthritis

This form of canine arthritis is the most common and it is also referred to as degenerative joint disease. This type of arthritis is a slowly progressing disease which causes the breakdown of the cartilage inside a joint. Cartilage is a special type of tissue that swathes the bones where they come in contact with each other to provide shock absorption and lubrication. This provides pain free and frictionless movement. When the cartilage becomes damaged, osteoarthritis begins to develop. When the body is unable to repair the damaged cartilage, pain and inflammation sets in followed by permanent damage to the joint.

Canine Arthritis: Infectious Arthritis

This type of arthritis is caused by a growth of microorganisms within a joint. The infection can start in the joint, or spread there from a different place in the body which is the case with Lyme disease. Lyme disease is transmitted by ticks and can affect one or more joints.

Canine Arthritis: Rheumatoid Arthritis

This form of arthritis is not common and usually strikes middle aged or older dogs belonging to the smaller breeds.

Canine Arthritis: Systematic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)

This type of arthritis is a polysystemic disease which affects the joints. The disease causes the dog’s immune system to attack the body and damage the organs, joints, and skin.

Canine Arthritis: Symptoms

A common sign for the dog to display if he is suffering from arthritis is to have stiffness in the morning. He may appear to have pain and not want to be picked up or touched in certain places on his body. He may favor a particular limb while walking and may develop a limp. The dog may also become lethargic and not have an interest in physical activity. He may hesitate to jump or have difficulty standing or sitting.

Canine Arthritis: Treatments

Unfortunately there is no cure for canine arthritis as of today but there are methods to control the symptoms. The primary treatment is for the purpose of pain management, and pain relief lotions have proven to be effective for treating the stiffness and aches associated with canine arthritis. Sometimes, surgery is recommended but usually the less extreme treatment methods will be attempted first. The best thing to do is consult with your veterinarian who can advise you on how best to care for your ailing dog so he will receive the best care possible. Your vet may try such supplements as chondroitin and glucosamine which have both been shown to be useful in reducing inflammation and slowing the degenerative process in dogs. These substances work by drawing fluid into the joints which helps the body to repair the damage to the cartilage.

Sarah Thomas is an established freelance writer. You can find more of her writing at all-arthritis.com and back-pain-sos.com.

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