Like human beings, dogs can suffer from arthritis as they age, slowly developing a number of signs that they can no longer get up and enjoy the outdoors in the same way they always did. There are some dogs that are more susceptible to arthritis, but all dogs may develop it as they age due to the nature of their joints, especially their hips and shoulders.
The most common dogs to develop arthritis are those that grow overweight and don’t get enough exercise. Additionally, younger dogs can get arthritis if they sustain an injury that puts undue stress on the joints. Hip dysplasia is a major issue for many dogs that result in arthritis so bad they cannot move.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and results from the breakdown of cartilage from over use. When your dog gets older, watch for any signs that they are losing their full range of motion. If they slow down, cannot get up stairs, or have trouble getting into the car at any point, you should see a vet to determine the extent of the arthritis and if the dog needs medication or aids to live their life as normal.
Who Gets Arthritis
All dogs get arthritis at some point in life, but dogs that overeat and put undue stress on their joints can suffer much more from it than others. If your dog is overweight, especially in old age, consider a diet and exercise routine. Many times, this can help a great deal in reducing the effects of arthritis.
Also, pure bred dogs are generally more susceptible to arthritis, especially large dogs with a lot of weight put on their joints. Oddly shaped dogs like Dachshunds or beagles are also more likely to have joint problems due to the stresses on their joints.
Arthritis can be avoided with regular exercise, good diet and a careful eye for whenever your dog’s range of motion decreases. It is inevitable as they age, however, and will eventually be an issue that needs to be attended by a vet. A number of medications are available to reduce pain and improve range of motion as your dog gets older, especially if they need to exercise to keep their joints active.