According to the article “Does My Dog Have Arthritis?” by Dane Masters, people may not think that it’s possible, but dogs can, and do get arthritis. She says that usually you will notice that maybe they aren’t as active as before or just don’t seem to be themselves. As responsible, loving dog owners, you will of course try your best to help out your furry friends, but most often you will need the help of a vet to relieve their pain and prevent the disease from spreading further.
She goes on to say, “Arthritis is thought by many to be an auto-immune disease, the immune system becomes over-active which causes the body to attack healthy joint tissue or cartilage. This results in pain and inflammation. Arthritis has many different symptoms and can occur at any age, although it is more common in older dogs than younger ones”.
Masters mentions that arthritis causes the breakdown of cartilage around the joints, which leads to less protection around the bones within the joint. Areas affected by arthritis can become swollen, painful and difficult to move. Arthritis is most common in the major, weight bearing joints of the body such as the hips and knees.
Symptoms of arthritis in dogs include:
- Problems getting up, sitting or standing
- Keeping weight off a leg
- Tiredness, less active and not interested in playing
- Weight gain
- Behavior changes
- Appearance of stiffness
- Swelling or warmth around the joints
Masters continues to mention that in recent years, scientists have been studying Glucosamine as a way to treat arthritis in dogs. Glucosamine is a glucose molecule produced naturally in the body. Its job is to fuel cartilage cells to produce the proteins that hold joint tissue together. As dogs age, they are less able to produce glucosamine, which causes the cartilage to wear down and stiffen.
She concludes by suggesting that along with glucosamine you may want to consider chondroitin, which is found in cartilage and can help slow down the enzymes that are causing the breakdown of the cartilage. Combining these two components and giving them to your dog regularly can help them create new cartilage and relieve their arthritis suffering.
Author: Dane Masters