Apr 27, 2018

Does My Dog Have Arthritis?

Posted by Bob under dog arthritis

We know one out of five dogs suffer from arthritis.  Is your dog the one out of five?  This blog will focus on the risk factors and symptoms of arthritis to help you to determine if your dog should be evaluated by your veterinarian.

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a condition in which low-grade inflammation results in pain in the joints and wearing of the cartilage that covers the bones of the joints.  When cartilage becomes worn down, the joints are no longer able to move smoothly and shock absorption is reduced making things like walking, running, and jumping more painful.  Increased pain can lead to decreased movement which may cause muscles to atrophy and ligaments to become more lax.

So, what are the risk factors for OA?  Unfortunately, a common cause of OA is dysplasia (when the joints are misshapen) which is a congenital condition that many large breed dogs are prone to.  Additional risk factors include being overweight, broken bones, infection, or just wear and tear from repetitive motion.  Your dog is also more likely to get OA as he/she ages.  Add to this the fact that pets are living longer due to the advances in veterinary medicine and we can understand why the 1 in 5 statistic is so high.

Common symptoms of OA include limping, decreased activity, and a reluctance or inability to jump.  There are several other signs of OA however it is best to consult with your veterinarian if your dog may be at risk of getting OA.  Annual exams can be a good way to catch the disease early and if any of these symptoms have a sudden onset, a visit with your vet may be in order.

If your dog has been diagnosed with OA, contact VetStem today to receive a list of veterinary stem cell providers in your area.

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