Arthrosis in dogs: causes, symptoms and treatment
Many people know from their own experience how much arthrosis can reduce the quality of life. Of course, this also applies to dogs, which can suffer from osteoarthritis in the same way as humans.
Arthrosis is widespread in dogs. In principle, it can affect any four-legged friend. With some dog breeds, however, the risk is particularly high.
What happens in the case of arthrosis in the joints of the dog, what triggers it and what symptoms can occur, you will learn in the following. In this article we will also give you tips on the prevention and treatment of osteoarthritis in dogs.
What is osteoarthritis?
The term osteoarthritis covers various forms of degenerative joint disease. The course of arthrosis in dogs and humans is always chronic and characterized by excessive wear and tear of the joints.
If your dog suffers from osteoarthritis, his joints will wear out considerably more than normal as he ages. This initially leads to a regression or destruction of the joint cartilage. Without intact cartilage, inflammations in the joint then occur, which in turn result in a dilution of the synovial fluid (synovia).
Normally, joint cartilage and synovia work together to cushion shocks and minimize friction within the joint. If your dog's arthrosis makes it impossible for them to perform this task, the joint bones will become more and more worn out due to increased friction.
In the long run, the affected joint is completely destroyed without countermeasures. For your dog, this process is associated with an increasing restriction of his mobility and ever-increasing pain.
Arthrosis in dogs: possible causes
There are a number of causes that can lead to osteoarthritis in dogs. In addition to possible metabolic disorders, a poor diet in which the dog is not supplied with the necessary nutrients also promotes the development of osteoarthritis.
In addition, possible pre-existing conditions such as arthritis increase the risk if they are not properly treated and cured. Last but not least, the factors that can cause osteoarthritis in dogs include permanent strain or overloading of the musculoskeletal system. Both too much movement and obesity play a role.
In many cases, however, a dog's osteoarthritis condition cannot be traced back to a single cause, but to a combination of several mutually reinforcing factors.
And even though in principle all breeds of dogs can be affected by degenerative joint disease, some breeds have a particularly high risk due to their hereditary predisposition.
Arthrosis in dogs: typical symptoms
Arthrosis manifests itself in dogs through a variety of symptoms. How severe these symptoms are depends on how far the joint disease has progressed.
The following signs indicate that your dog is suffering from osteoarthritis:
- Activity and the urge to move are increasingly diminishing.
- Climbing stairs causes the animal visible problems.
- The gait of the four-legged friend appears increasingly stiff.
- The dog's joints are swollen.
- The animal finds it increasingly difficult to lie down and stand up.
- The four-legged friend bites into the painful joints.
- After going for a walk, lameness occurs temporarily.
- The animal begins to refuse itself walks.
- The dog reacts sensitively to touches of the joints.
- The four-legged friend tries to relieve the joints also when lying.
The symptoms of arthrosis develop insidiously in your dog. The further the disease has progressed, the greater the animal's pain and the more noticeable the symptoms become in everyday life. What begins with a barely noticeable stiff gait develops over time into an ever-increasing restriction of mobility and even lameness.
Diagnosis of arthrosis in dogs
If you see any signs of osteoarthritis in your dog, you should consult a veterinarian immediately. The sooner you have your four-legged friend examined by a veterinarian, the better. Because the sooner it is clear that your dog suffers from osteoarthritis, the sooner the therapy can be started and the better are the chances of a noticeable relief of the discomfort.
If you tell your veterinarian about the symptoms you have noticed in your dog, he will start by palpating the joints of the four-legged friend. The veterinarian can use the animal's reaction to determine which joints are affected by osteoarthritis.
The next step is to check the condition of the joints using x-rays. If your dog suffers from osteoarthritis, the x-rays will usually show this clearly.
If no definite diagnosis is possible, the following additional examinations may be necessary:
- Sonography (ultrasound)
- MRT (magnetic resonance imaging)
- CT (Computer Tomography)
- Arthroscopy (arthroscopy)
As part of the diagnosis, the veterinarian will also check your dog for secondary osteoarthritis caused by a pre-existing condition such as hip dysplasia. In this case, it is not only the arthrosis in your dog that needs to be treated, but also the previous illness responsible for it.
Treatment of arthrosis in dogs
Unfortunately, a complete cure for osteoarthritis in dogs is currently not possible. However, this does not mean that as a dog owner you have to accept that your four-legged friend will hardly be able to walk in the foreseeable future.
Because with the right therapeutic measures, it is quite possible to slow down the course of the disease and achieve a significant relief of the discomfort. In the best case your dog will have a few good years in which to move normally and painlessly.
For such a positive prognosis, however, it is crucial that the osteoarthritis in the dog is detected as early as possible and treated with the right measures.
Arthrosis treatment with medication
If the veterinarian has diagnosed osteoarthritis in your dog, he will usually prescribe medication for the four-legged friend. These are used to relieve pain and reduce inflammation and swelling of the joints.
Overweight is a crucial factor that leads to osteoarthritis in dogs. If your dog is too fat, a reduction in body weight is therefore an indispensable part of the treatment. The more excess pounds your four-legged friend carries around with him, the more strain is placed on the joints and the faster the wear caused by osteoarthritis progresses.
Physiotherapy is another important component in the treatment of osteoarthritis in dogs. During therapy, the animal physiotherapist must ensure that the mobility of the joints is promoted without overloading them. The right amount of exercise also helps to strengthen the muscles, which also relieves the strain on the sick joints.
Food supplements for the treatment of osteoarthritis
Since the individual components of the joints are subject to a constant build-up and breakdown, your dog's musculoskeletal system needs certain nutrients in order to maintain its functionality. In the course of treating arthrosis in dogs, it has proven to be effective to provide it with these nutrients in the form of special dietary supplements.
However, most preparations contain only one or two of the active ingredients that the joints of your four-legged friend need. Their effectiveness is therefore limited accordingly.
For this reason, we recommend a dietary supplement with Bellfor Gelenke & Knochen (Joints & Bones) instead. This is a completely natural preparation that contains the innovative active ingredient complex Ovopet.
Ovopet is extracted from the egg shell membrane of chicken eggs and contains more than 500 different nutrients. Collagen, hyaluronic acid, chondroitin sulphate, glucosamine are particularly important for joint health.
The interaction of these components produces a synergistic effect, making Bellfor Joints & Bones particularly effective in the treatment of osteoarthritis in dogs. Studies have shown that the nutrients of the eggshell membrane already bring first success after 20 days, the movement activity increases noticeably after 40 days and after 60 days of taking a significantly better movement mobility is noticeable.
A similar picture emerges from the feedback from numerous customers, who tell us about the good results they were able to achieve with Bellfor Joints & Bones in their dogs suffering from osteoarthritis.
Preventing arthrosis in dogs
Of course you cannot change your dog's hereditary predispositions. Nevertheless, you as the owner can do a lot to reduce the risk of osteoarthritis in your dog (regardless of his breed) and prevent a disease. Basically, this simply means that you need to know and avoid the causes of osteoarthritis.
The following measures will help prevent osteoarthritis in your dog:
- Avoid overloading and misloading from an early age (puppies, for example, should not climb stairs). Activities and movement should always be adapted to the needs of the breed.)
- Pay attention to the weight of your dog (overweight is a great strain on the joints and promotes the development of osteoarthritis).
- Pay attention to quality when buying dog food (natural ingredients, the renunciation of grain as well as a high meat content guarantee an optimal nutrient supply of the four-legged friend and his joints).
- Always treat acute joint diseases correctly (incompletely cured arthritis can lead to chronic arthrosis).
Arthrosis in dogs: the most important facts at a glance
Arthrosis is a chronic joint disease characterized by excessive wear and tear of the joints. It is widespread in dogs and, apart from a hereditary predisposition, is also favoured by external factors such as obesity and poor nutrition.
If you notice any symptoms of osteoarthritis in your dog, it is unavoidable to go to the vet in a short time. The earlier treatment begins, the better the chances are that the disease will progress and that your dog will lead a largely pain-free life.
In addition to the classic treatment with medication and accompanying physiotherapy, very good results can be achieved with arthrosis therapy in dogs, especially by supplementing the diet with Bellfor Joints & Bones.
But convince yourself and test the effectiveness of Bellfor Joints & Bones on your arthrosis-infected dog. We are sure that the result will also inspire you.