Updated November 30th, 2020
This page explains the disease of arthritis. For treatment of arthritis, visit:
Which Animals Get Arthritis?
The sad news is that arthritis is an inevitable part of ageing. It affects all pets including dogs, cats, rabbits, ferrets, and even birds. It’s up to us owners to prevent it where possible, recognise it, and of course, ease the symptoms as much as we can.
You could even look on the bright side and say that it’s a sign your pet has reached a good lifespan. However, that’s no comfort when your dear friend is in pain. And, yes, even though it just looks like stiffness on the outside, that’s really pain you’re seeing.
What Is Arthritis?
Arthritis is inflammation of the joints. This process leads to:
- Thickened and painful soft tissues around the joint
- Gradual loss of smooth articular cartilage
- Reduced viscosity & lubrication of joint fluid
- Remodelling of the underlying bone
- Shrinkage and wasting of muscles
Despite all this, it can be very hard to spot.
The Symptoms Of Arthritis
Dogs often suffer without anyone being aware. Symptoms of arthritis are frustratingly vague, and include:
- Being less active
- Stiffness especially after rest
- Difficulty jumping up
- Reluctance to exercise
- Reduced ability to exercise
- But almost never crying in pain
There are many other causes of limping in dogs so it’s important to get a vet to confirm the diagnosis.
Causes of Arthritis in Dogs
Common causes of arthritis in dogs include:
- Age-related wear and tear
- Joint injuries
- Autoimmune disorders
- Growth abnormalities such as elbow or hip dysplasia
All of these are worsened by excessive weight.
The common form of arthritis in dogs is osteoarthritis, also called degenerative joint disease or DJD. Despite all the advances in modern medicine we still can’t stop it from happening.
Every animal affected by arthritis will benefit from treatment. The big question is: which one?
To answer that question, visit our page on arthritis diets, medicines, supplements and injections. These are the greatest advances in pet medicine of the last 30 years. Don’t let your best friend miss out!