Osteoarthritis in dogs is one of the most common joint diseases. This is a chronic, progressive change in the joint that limits function. Various causes cause minor damage to the cartilage and abrasion and chipping of cartilage particles.
Most often, the joints that bear the brunt of the body’s weight are affected. These include, for example, the elbow, shoulder, knee and hip. But any joint can be affected by osteoarthritis.
Why is osteoarthritis in dogs often detected so late?
Arthritic changes in the joint often develop initially without functional limitations and are only noticed when they are already advanced. This is because the articular cartilage is not innervated, i.e. it is not traversed by nerves that give a pain signal.
So, your dog will not feel pain in the joint until there is significant damage to the cartilage and inflammation in the joint. Once osteoarthritis has developed, it can no longer be cured. But the further progression of osteoarthritis can be delayed. Osteoarthritis is therefore a chronic disease.
In the advanced stage, the body tries to help itself. So-called joint lips are formed. These are bony appendages to stabilize and protect the joint. For your four-legged friend, it means restriction and pain in movement.
The symptoms of osteoarthritis
To help you recognize the signs of osteoarthritis early, I’ve compiled the most important symptoms for you in today’s article:
When osteoarthritis is activated, five typical signs of inflammation are present. These are warmth, pain, swelling, functional limitation and redness.
- Disinclination to move
- Nibbling or licking the joints
- Start-up and movement pain
- Degradation of the musculature
- Lameness (intermittent or permanent depending on the stage)
- Stiff standing up and lying down
- Stiff gait
- Joint grinding due to bone contact
- Movement restriction
- Weather sensitivity
- Touch sensitivity
- Changed social behavior
- Diminished joy of playing
- Dog no longer wants to jump in the car or climb stairs
- Muscle tension
Is sparing the solution?
No way! It is important to maintain your dog’s mobility. Otherwise, the arthrosis in the joint will continue to progress unhindered.
At the same time, good musculature is important to provide the best possible relief for your dog’s joints. Of course, the movement of your dog must be adapted to the state of the disease. For example, it is better to take several short walks a day. Through targeted active movement exercises, it also succeeds in giving your dog mobility and freedom from pain. You also support it by accompanying administration of nutritional supplements.
All the love, your Tina