Dogs and Arthritis – Overview of Arthritis In Dogs

According to available statistics, between 25 and 30 percent of all dogs suffer from arthritis. That means in some ways, dogs and arthritis almost go together. Unfortunately, this joint condition can be just as painful in dogs as it is in people. And like people, dogs can develop one of several forms of arthritis.

What Arthritis Is

Your dog’s skeletal system is a marvelous framework of bones, ligaments and cartilage all working together. The joints provide the flexibility needed for different movements such as running, jumping, walking and climbing, among many others. Sometimes, however, things go wrong with the joints and movement is painful and impaired. Arthritis can develop when a joint sustains damage, whether it’s caused by physical trauma (such as an injury) or disease. Once this occurs, a dog’s ordinary movements become much more difficult and painful.

Arthritis is caused by inflammation in a joint. The condition is categorized by the source of this inflammation. There are two main types of arthritis – degenerative (osteoarthritis) and inflammatory.

Osteoarthritis (sometimes called degenerative joint disease) is by far the most common type of canine arthritis. This type of arthritis develops over time and is often caused by injury to a joint which eventually damages or destroys the cartilage that protects the bones. In addition to injury, excessive jumping, excessive weight or even just the aging process can cause cartilage destruction and eventually lead to arthritis. Hip dysplasia and patella luxation (“loose” kneecaps) can also cause the type of joint degeneration that causes arthritis.

Inflammatory arthritis (sometimes called inflammatory joint disease) is the other main type of arthritis, but it is far less common. It can be caused by an infection (such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever or a bacterial infection) or an underlying immune disorder such as lupus erythematosus. This form of arthritis typically affects more than one joint and is associated with overall stiffness, fever and loss of appetite. Rheumatoid arthritis can also occur in dogs, although it is rare.

Age and Breed Susceptibility

Although it’s true that younger dogs can develop arthritis, older dogs are much more prone to the condition. In young dogs the cause is likely to be an injury, but in older or overweight dogs, it is more likely to be caused by simple wear and tear. Some breeds are more susceptible to arthritis than others, although it can occur in any dog. As a general rule, larger breeds such as Labrador Retrievers, Collies, Rottweilers and German Shepherds are at higher risk.

Symptoms

Your dog might be stiff or lame after exercise or a long nap, or he might be reluctant to climb up or down stairs. Don’t automatically assume he has arthritis, however. Although these symptoms could be signs of arthritis, they might instead be the result of some other health condition. Instead of making assumptions, take your dog to the vet for evaluation and appropriate treatment.

As a general rule, however, dogs with arthritis will exhibit one or more of the following symptoms:

* Limping or walking very slowly
* A reluctance to go on walks, climb up or down stairs, run, jump or play
* Yelping in pain when touched, or resisting being touched
* Slowness or visible difficulty when rising from a lying or sitting position

In addition, dogs with chronic arthritis might become aggressive, depressed, nervous or lethargic.

Treatment and Therapies

When it comes to dogs and arthritis, early diagnosis and good management of the condition are the keys, because arthritis cannot be completely cured. As a result, arthritis treatments and therapies are intended to reduce the symptoms and make arthritic dogs more comfortable.

Gentle, low-stress exercise and moderate quantities of nutritious, healthy food can help control an arthritic dog’s weight and thereby reduce weight-induced stress on arthritic joints. Leading an active lifestyle will also ensure that a dog’s joints are kept in motion and cause less pain. Dogs should be taken on a daily walk to keep them as mobile as possible.

Anti-inflammatory medications such as NSAIDs can be used to help alleviate the pain, inflammation, swelling and stiffness associated with arthritis. Analgesics such as aspirin or acetaminophen can also encourage movement by helping to overcome the pain. When the arthritis is causing extreme pain, cortisone injected directly into the joint can result in almost immediate relief.

A large number of joint health supplements are also available when you’re dealing with dogs and arthritis. Most contain glucosamine and chondroitin, although some include additional ingredients such as specific vitamins and minerals. Finally, you can also help by giving your dog a soft comfy place to sleep, such as a thick foam rubber cushion. Dogs and arthritis are a painful combination, but there are some things you can do to help.

It is such a pain for a dog owner to see his four-legged best friend suffering from Arthritis

It really is heartbreaking however we all know that there is a good chance that one day or another our dog will experience this kind of disorder.

Many dog owners are not aware of all the different ailments that a dog can encounter in his life-span, and most important, the different causes and symptoms that could be very helpful to diagnose these conditions before they become major ones.

I created AboutDogsandpets.com to help dog owners to learn what are these different symptoms, so you will be much more reactive when such disorders occur, and then get the peace of mind that comes from being prepared!

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Natural Alternatives for Joint Health and Arthritis

The recent removal from pharmacy shelves of Vioxx® and other such Cox-2 inhibitors has severely impacted countless Americans. These drugs, which were designed to minimize gastrointestinal issues common with other anti-inflammatory medications were, in fact, producing harmful and sometimes deadly side effects of their own.

So what are these Americans going to do? Where can they turn to ease their arthritis and joint pain safely? There is a new breakthrough in natural joint pain relief that many Americans are scrambling to learn more about. This new source of relief is what this article is all about.

Rice Bran – the Secret to Joint Pain Relief

You may ask yourself…Rice? Yes, rice bran is one of the most nutrient rich substance found on land. Rice bran comes from the shells of rice when it is processed into white rice. Unfortunately, a natural occurring enzyme in the rice bran cause it to break down very quickly and has no shelf life. An extraction process discovered has allowed for the removal of this enzyme and a world of possibilities to open up.

How Does This Help Joint Pain Suffers?

Polysaccharides are a great aid in the human body to increase the production of collagen. Collagen lubricates the spaces between bones and is often a culprit of causing joint pain and discomfort. Rice bran is rich in polysaccharides. It is also rich in phytosterols, which contain anti-inflammatory properties which allow it to replace some of the more dangerous pharmaceutical drugs like Vioxx®.

There are a few products on the market now, most of them natural supplements that are not approved by the FDA. Do not let that discourage you. The FDA only approves supplements that are classified as drugs, it does not mean that it is dangerous or not effective. However, anyone that is interested in start a new supplement should always consult their doctor first. At the time of the writing of this of article one of these products is offering a free months supply it is called Flex Protex®.

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