Canine arthritis is a very common and painful condition in dogs. As they grow older, playing becomes an uncomfortable chore, and a run in the park turns into a stiff and labored walk. Things that were once so easy has now become difficult and painful. Luckily for our canine companions, there are wonderful treatment plans and medications that can assist them by easing their discomfort and giving them a better quality of life.
There are certain breeds that are more susceptible to arthritis than others. Genetics and poor breeding and aging are the major contributing factors, but injury and joint malformation can most certainly also play a role in the development of arthritis.
WHAT ARE THE PRIMARY CAUSES OF ARTHRITIS IN DOGS?
There are two primary categories of arthritis: developmental and degenerative. Developmental arthritis occurs when your dog is genetically predisposed to having malformed joints, which can lead to arthritis. It also means that the arthritis will develop no matter what we do for our pets. Degenerative arthritis occurs when there are certain external circumstances that have lead to your dog developing arthritis, such as:
- Injuries or fractures to the joints
- Infections inside or around the joints
- Joint disorders such as hip or elbow dysplasia
- Overfeeding your dog, putting too much weight and stress onto their joints
- Cancer or other immune diseases
- Metabolic or hormonal disorders
WHICH DOG BREEDS ARE MORE LIKELY TO GET ARTHRITIS?
In general, it is larger breed dogs who are affected by arthritis, but even small breeds such as Pugs and medium breeds such as Springer Spaniels are prone to this condition. Below are the larger breeds that are more inclined to struggle with arthritis and decreased mobility:
- German Shepherds
- Golden Retrievers
- Bernese Mountain Dogs
- Saint Bernards
- Great Danes
Sadly, arthritis is an incurable condition, but there are many ways in which to treat your pup and keep them as comfortable and pain free as possible. CBD oil can be an essential part of a more comprehensive plan, which could include:
- Vet prescribed medication Medications can ease symptoms. There are also over-the-counter options available, but always check with your vet first. They will recommend what is best suited to your dog.
- Therapeutic and gentle exercises Short 15-20 minute walks and swimming can improve muscle mass without putting any major stress on the joints.
- Managing your pet's weight Being overweight adds more stress on the joints, which can cause greater joint damage and worsen the arthritis.
- A healthy diet Omega fatty acids can help reduce inflammation in the joints as well as reduce the symptoms of arthritis. Your vet will recommend foods that are high in EPAs (eicosapentaenoic acid).
- Rehabilitation Just like their two-legged friends, physical therapy can be incredibly helpful for dogs. The therapy would involve the same techniques used on humans, such as using cold and heat packs as well as massages and stretching to promote joint health and strengthen muscles. Your vet would be able to recommend certified canine rehabilitation therapists.