What Causes Arthritis In Dogs?

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This article is posted as part of PGAA’s curation efforts. This was originally posted at Alpha Dog Nutrition

 

by Joe Scott


Your dog could be developing arthritis right now without showing any signs, it’s scary but true. Find out what causes arthritis and what natural ingredients are proven to rebuild cartilage and prolong healthy joint function.

 

When your dog is diagnosed with arthritis it feels like the whole world goes fuzzy – arthritis, but how and why? Your mind starts jumping around; what can you give dogs for arthritis? How long until they get really bad? Is arthritis a death sentence? Is glucosamine good for dogs with arthritis? ?The questions are never ending, I know because I’ve been there on more than one occasion.

Canine arthritis has the potential to impact any of your dog’s joints, from their spine to their hips to their legs. A number of years back I watched one of my favorite hunting dogs develop arthritis. At the time I didn’t understand why our dog got arthritis when so many older hunt dogs I knew were still agile and limber. It seemed unfair, and I wanted to know if we’d done something wrong, if there were any ways we could have prevented it from happening.

I know I’m not the only one that has felt this way. When you love a dog, the last thing you want is for them to be in any kind of pain. Even worse, if the dog you love is your hunting pal, you’re faced with the possibility of having to leave them at home if arthritis pain gets too bad.

I’ve learned a lot over the years, like why arthritis impacts certain dogs and not others. And that while arthritis in dogs isn’t always preventable there are things you can do to slow down damaging inflammation and get more good years with your dog. And yes, glucosamine is very good for dogs with arthritis (more on that later).

Why Do Some Dogs Develop Arthritis?

As technical as arthritis sounds, it’s really just a term used to define inflammation of your dog’s joints. Over time, this common form of inflammation damages cartilage. This is a big deal because cartilage is the reason your dog can move, jump and run without experiencing pain.

Here’s how it works: Inside of your dog’s joints are bones, and these bones are covered by a smooth layer of cartilage along with a little joint fluid for lubrication. Arthritis damages cartilage and causes it to wear away faster than your dog’s body can replenish it. As a result, bone surfaces start to rub together–which sounds painful and it is painful.

This is when you’ll start noticing the clinical signs of arthritis, like limping, sleeping more than usual and even avoiding activities your dog once loved. If damage continues, cartilage can become so thin that the joint space actually narrows, causing the bone beneath to start deteriorating. From there, your dog is at risk of severe pain, lameness, inactivity and muscle atrophy.

The Most Common Causes Of Arthritis In Dogs

Arthritis can develop naturally as a result of old age after years of wear and tear. Arthritis in dogs can also develop earlier in life due to genetic predispositions, a pre existing condition, poor diet or obesity. Your dog’s lifestyle, breed, weight and overall health, as well as the location of arthritis plays a role in the actual cause.

Some of the most common causes of arthritis include:

  • Degenerative spinal joint disease
  • Inflammatory joint disease
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Dietary issues such as obesity or not getting enough nutrients
  • Developmental disorders, such as elbow dysplasia and hip dysplasia
  • Congenital disorders, such as hemophilia (Willebrand’s disease)
  • Fractures of the joint
  • Diseases of the ligament, tendon or muscle

What Causes Arthritis In Dog Hips?

Arthritis can impact any joints in your dog’s body, including the hips–which get a lot of use. Dogs that are more prone to arthritis in the hips often have hip dysplasia. Hip dysplasia is a genetic condition that can be impacted by environmental factors. It causes abnormal formation of the hip socket. Over time, hip dysplasia can cause painful arthritis in joints and ultimately lameness.

Aside from genetics, other causes of hip dysplasia in dogs include:

  • Obesity
  • Rapid weight gain
  • Lack of proper nutrition
  • Availability of pelvic-muscle mass

Arthritis In Dog Legs

Your dog has a lot of joints running through their legs, so it’s not uncommon to see arthritis in a dog’s legs. Elbow dysplasia is a big contributor to arthritis in dog legs. Just like hip dysplasia, it is a genetic condition that causes abnormal growth of cells, tissue or bone. These abnormalities lead to improper formation of the elbow joint, which puts dogs at a greater risk for developing arthritis.

Some common causes of arthritis in dog legs include:

  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Obesity
  • Genetic predisposition

Sometimes arthritis in your dog’s back is mistaken for arthritis in dog legs. That’s because limping in one or both back legs may signal arthritis of the spine.

Arthritis In Dog Back/Spine

Arthritic changes can occur in your dog’s back, leading to the development of inflammation and joint damage in parts of the spine. If this is the case for your pup, you might notice they are standing with an unusual posture and a “hunch” in their back. They may also exhibit a sore neck, and/or lameness in one or both hind legs.

Almost all of the same things that can lead to arthritis in other joints can cause arthritis in a dog’s back. Dogs are at a greater predisposition if they have degenerative spinal joint disease.

What To Give Dogs For Arthritis

The progression of arthritis can start to make you feel incredibly helpless. It’s gut wrenching to watch your favorite hunting dog decline, not only for you but even more-so for your loyal pup. There are medications to decrease arthritis pain in dogs, and while they are necessary at times, you are really just putting a bandage on a big cut that requires stitches. What you really want to do is slow down the progression of cartilage and joint damage.

Glucosamine For Dogs With Arthritis

According to our awesome animal nutrition expert over here at Alpha Dog, Susan Lauten, PhD, there are a few key ingredients you can give your dog to slow down the progression of arthritis.

Glucosamine for dogs with arthritis or dogs at risk of developing arthritis is one of the best natural ingredients you can give them. This powerful ingredient has been found to actively rebuild cartilage, which is destroyed as a result of arthritis.

We made sure to include glucosamine as the first ingredient in our supplements, but that’s not the only thing your dog needs. You can make the effects of glucosamine far more powerful by pairing it with other vital nutrients and natural ingredients. We combined all of the best ingredients for restoring and protecting joint health in Alpha Dog Nutrition supplements.

Just like human athletes, active and athletic dogs require more nutritional supplements than couch potatoes. Oddly enough, most nutritional supplements on the market are overgeneralized and geared to all dogs. That’s why Alpha Dog supplements are truly one-of-a-kind. They are the only arthritis supplements for dogs made specifically for hunting dogs and dogs that lead an active lifestyle.

Maintaining Alpha Status is important to your hunt dog, and now you can help your dog stay on top of their game with Alpha Dog Nutrition supplements.

SOURCES:

http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/health/for-owners/arthritis-in-dogs

http://www.petmd.com/dog/conditions/musculoskeletal/c_dg_hip_dysplasia

http://www.petmd.com/dog/slideshows/care/7-signs-of-arthritis-in-dogs-cats

http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=2+2084&aid=231

http://www.1800petmeds.com/education/glucosamine-important-dogs-2.htm

This article was posted with the permission of AlphaDog Nutrition “Designed from the ground up by our Pet Nutritionists with the hunting dog in mind.” Copyright © Hunt Alpha. All rights reserved.