Osteoarthritis is the most common degenerative joint disease in dogs. It can affect several or even all joints. And although it is usual, it does not only affect older dogs.
When it comes to prevention, it is convenient to take care of the daily walks, the feeding, schedule the visits to the vet, in case we notice any symptoms.
What do we know about osteoarthritis in dogs?
Osteoarthritis is a chronic degeneration of the joints, which reduces their flexibility, causes pain and limits movement.
Dogs, like people, can suffer osteoarthritis from trauma, a malformation (such as hip dysplasia, for example), or the natural aging process.
Joints are the joints between two bones. They are covered by cartilage, which is the tissue that gives flexibility and cushions movements, avoiding wear due to continuous friction.
Although dogs of any breed and age can suffer from it, it is more common to treat osteoarthritis in large breed dogs and older dogs.
The biggest enemy is being overweight since your bones must support those extra kilos and, at the same time, it usually leads to a more sedentary life that reduces the flexibility of those joints.
These are some clues that could indicate that our furry suffers from osteoarthritis, and in this case take him to the vet to make the correct diagnosis.
If you notice that your dog has reduced his activity: He spends more time lying down and / or has a hard time getting up.
He does not want to go out for a walk, he stays behind or sits down.
If he limps, or walks stiff, or does not support his weight on one limb.
If he has muscular atrophy (it seems that he has “thinned out” one of his legs).
He has stopped climbing stairs or getting on the sofa and stays down looking at you and waiting for you to help him.
Other possible changes: Is any area of your body nibbling? Have you stopped eating as before? Has his behavior changed?
It is possible to delay and / or prevent osteoarthritis problems by improving some habits, such as:
With a good diet that provides antioxidant vitamins and minerals to nourish the joints, and thus modulate inflammation and pain. I also include here the use of supplements (orthomolecular nutrition and chondroprotectors).
Maintain your optimal weight.
Exercise, finding the most appropriate level in each case.
Have an early diagnosis.
If in doubt, take your dog to the vet, they are the only ones who can determine what type of pathology he has and how to help them.