Arthritis is a very common condition in humans and dogs alike. It typically affects dogs in their senior years and certain breeds are also more susceptible than others. Osteoarthritis causes the cartilage between the bones to break down quicker and the rubbing of the bones causes inflammation and pain. Any of the joints in the body can be affected by arthritis, but it is most common in the shoulders, elbows, knees or hips.
Causes of Arthritis
Aside from old age, there are a range of factors that can cause osteoarthritis to develop in your dog:
- Overweight dogs place extra strain on their joints which increases their risk of developing osteoarthritis
- As mentioned above, certain breeds are more susceptible to developing osteoarthritis. Larger breeds such as Labradors, Golden Retrievers and German Shepherds are among the breeds that are more prone to developing osteoarthritis
- Genetics also plays a part in whether or not a dog will develop arthritis
- If a dog sustains an injury, they can also be more prone to developing arthritis in the affected joint/s. This includes repetitive stress injuries that are common in dogs that participate in athletic activities such as flyball, dock diving or agility courses, or after injuries such as fractures or ligament tears
- Dogs that have joint deformities such as hip, knee or elbow dysplasia are also more prone to developing osteoarthritis