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There are many forms of arthritis in dogs that can create pain. As in the case of humans, dog arthritis is an inflammation of a joint or joints. Anywhere a dog has a joint they can have arthritis. The cartilage in the joint may be inflamed, but it can also be joint fluid causing the issues within the bones. The main types of arthritis in dogs are osteoarthritis, immune mediated, ineffective, and idiopathic arthritis.
The most common dog arthritis is osteoarthritis which is a degenerative disease in the joints where the cartilage degenerates or is disturbed, causing an increasing roughening of the surfaces of the cartilage, eventually exposing some of the bone underneath the cartilage, which in turn causes further degeneration of the cartilage.
Dog arthritis symptoms usually involve a gradual onset of limpness in the limbs. In other words, lameness will result to the point where the dog finds it difficult to walk. Most often a dog will also be less likely to be active in activities such as walks, playing, or even going up stairs. The stiffness of the limbs is likely to be more pronounced in the mornings or after long naps, but by working with the dog and encouraging exercise, the stiff appearance should disappear through the day.
There will also be pain in the joints felt when you touch their limbs or the affected area. The last sign can be seen as a swelling of the limb around the joint. While it may not be noticeable when you feel the area, you may notice a difference between joints where one joint is affected more than others.
To understand the treatments for arthritis in dogs you must also understand the causes. The causes are normally because of injury to the affected area, obesity, or a result of a genetic or other disease such as hip dysplasia. Many younger dogs that suffer from osteoarthritis have a problem with a failure in bone development, causing the inflammation.
There is arthritis medicine for dogs that will help treat the inflammation. However, many dog owners find that natural treatments for arthritis in dogs are more helpful. Glucosamine for dogs and MSM for dogs are two popular natural ingredients for dog arthritis treatments (and arthritis treatments for humans, as well). In fact, many experts are of the view that there are three essential ingredients for an effective natural arthritis treatment – glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM.
Glucosamine is an amino sugar that occurs naturally in the body. However, the ageing process is thought to diminish the body’s ability to produce sufficient glucosamine for the body’s needs. Glucosamine is not found in any primary food source, but is derived from the shell of shellfish such as lobster, crab and shrimp (called “chitin”). It has anti inflammatory components that seem to be very effective in managing osteoarthritis.
Depending on the cause of the arthritis in dogs a change to a healthier diet may be all that is needed. Some types of arthritis can be taken care of with a healthy diet and exercise. Obesity in dogs is one cause of arthritis. By helping the dog to maintain a natural weight for their size and eating a healthy diet it is possible to eliminate the pain of arthritis. Often, though, arthritis remedies will be required, to keep the pain of your dog’s arthritis symptoms under control.
Another natural treatment for arthritis in dogs is acupuncture. The method can reduce inflammation based on where the needles are placed and allowing the dog to feel pain free. Again the method of treatment should depend on the severity of the arthritis as well as the cause of it. If your dog’s arthritis symptoms are worsening, you might want to consider using a combination of a natural arthritis treatment containing glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM, as well as some acupuncture treatments.