Common Joint Problems in Dogs
Joint problems are one of the most common ailments among aging and large dogs. While not entirely preventable, various dog supplements can slow down the development of joint problems. By addressing and treating common joint problems in dogs, you can decrease the amount of discomfort your pet will feel over the longer period of time.
Different breeds of dog present with different joint problems, but nutrition and supplementation are two areas in which you can start to address this issue for all breeds.
What are the signs of dog joint problems?
Early detection is the most important thing in addressing common joint problems. One of the earliest symptoms of joint problems is inactivity. Because of the pain they feel, they tend to take longer naps and walk slower. They may also struggle to get up the stairs as they used to.
You might also notice a sudden discomfort, such as barking when they jump. Instead of running, they tend to hop or limp as they can’t place their foot on the ground properly. This is why you should also consider joint problems when dealing with unruly behavior, as these discomforts cause extreme irritability in dogs of all breeds.
The most prominent indicator of joint problems is swollen legs, which your dog will try to solve through excessive licking; a comfort mechanism. When you’ve already seen a swollen leg, it indicates that the joint problem has worsened, and it’s time to consult a veterinarian immediately.
What are common joint problems in dogs?
Even though they share common symptoms, there are actually various kinds of joint problems. It’s important that you get to know each of them to ensure effective and efficient treatment.
The most common kind of joint problem is osteoarthritis. This, as in humans and other animals, happens when the cartilage in joints deteriorate, causing inflammation. This limits the movement of the joints as healthy cartilages serve as levers for joint mobility. Osteoarthritis can be caused either by trauma or aging too.
What is septic arthritis?
The next is septic arthritis which is one of the most common joint problems in puppies. Unlike osteoarthritis, septic arthritis is considered an infection. It is caused by bacteria in the bloodstream that enters the body through open wounds.
Elbow dysplasia in dogs
The last kind is elbow dysplasia, or the abnormal development of elbow joints. This typically occurs with large dogs as they grow more rapidly than other breeds. This ailment causes joint stresses, which give the dog discomfort when moving. Elbow dysplasia can develop into osteoarthritis as they age.
Other joint problems in dogs can be joint fractures and dislocations, ligament problems, and even joint cancer.
How to treat joint problems in dogs
Some joint problems are treated with medicinal and topical analgesics to ease the pain that your dog experiences. Unfortunately, for some joint problems, the only possible solution is surgery.
Alongside these pain killers, it is highly recommended that you give your dog rich amounts of MSM and Vitamin E as they decrease inflammation, Yucca as it slows down the development of arthritis, and chondroitin which lubricates joints.
These nutrients can be found in hip & joint dog supplements. Unlike analgesics that should be stopped once the inflammation eases out, these supplements can be a part of your dog’s everyday routine. This way, you don’t just address their current joint problems but prevent other ailments from occurring.
Prevention is better than cure. Equip your dogs with the needed nutrients for proper joint development so they would never need to face the horror of surgery.
Laura Robinson, DMV
Dr Laura practices at the Antonio Animal Hospital in California, where she was born and raised. She is an advisor to Wuffes, ensuring all our products and content is of the highest standard