Arthritis in Dogs

08/13/20 | Amber Stuart, PR Coordinator RASN

Dog Arthritis – What is It? I’m sure you’ve heard of arthritis in humans – the inflammation of joints that make for an uncomfortable experience in everyday living. Did you know dogs are just as susceptible to arthritis as well? In fact, one in five dogs will experience arthritis in their lifetime. Most often affecting senior dogs, this degenerative joint disease takes many forms; however, the most common type of arthritis in dogs is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is arthritis affecting multiple joints – the pain and discomfort felt as a result of arthritis is disruptive to daily life. In most cases of osteoarthritis, the cause of pain is the constant and abnormal rubbing within the joints due to joint instability.

In addition to osteoarthritis, other types of inflammatory joint disease in dogs can be caused by a number of factors, including: diabetes, bacterial or fungal infections, osteochondrosis, old injuries, increased activity levels in working dogs, obesity, and Cushing’s disease. The most common joint areas affected by arthritis in dogs are the hips, elbows, lower back, knees, and wrists.

In a healthy dog, the bone surfaces on the inside of a dog’s joints are covered with a thin layer of smooth cartilage which acts as a natural joint lubricant when the joints rub back and forth. If this layer of cartilage is damaged, the bones and joints rub together coarsely. This constant friction causes pain to the joints. In addition, the constant friction causes new bone growth to develop around the joints, which causes stiffness and limits joint movement. This additional bone growth is known as bone spurs.

Click here to read entire article at Rheumatoid Arthritis Support Network (RASN).