Dog arthritis symptoms are basically a result of joint inflammation. Arthritis is a painful and progressive condition that affects people and also animals. In most cases, this is a degenerative and permanent deterioration of cartilages, but there are some types of arthritis that are generated by some joint infections or immune mediated diseases, which can be treated with success.
Not all dogs develop this condition. However, this is a common problem; one out of five dogs is affected by arthritis during his/her lifetime. Arthritis is usually seen in older dogs, but it can strike young animals as well, especially those that have inherited an orthopedic disease, such as osteochondrosis.
Types of dog arthritis
Two categories of dog arthritis are of primary importance: degenerative joint disease and inflammatory joint disease. These diseases are represented by various symptoms and changes in a dog’s behavior, as we will see next.
The first category includes acute traumatic arthritis and repeat trauma-induced arthritis, and the second one – infective arthritis and auto-immune arthritis. These forms of arthritis lead to specific dog arthritis symptoms.
Dog arthritis symptoms generated by degenerative arthritis
The clinical signs of arthritis in dogs that suffer from traumatic arthritis appear gradually, and even the most caring dog owners could be misled by them – or they might not even see them. A high number of factors influence the pace in which the disease progresses; these factors include: the dog’s breed, age, weight, genes and nutrition.
Know that the symptoms that indicate arthritis are not specific to it and only a veterinarian can tell you for sure if your dog suffers from this condition or not.
Acute traumatic arthritis is characterized by lameness, accompanied by swelling and pain. Other symptoms seen in dogs that suffer from degenerative arthritis are: irritability, depression, visible joint deformities, aggression, lack of appetite, lethargy, prolonged sleeping time and exercise intolerance.
Repeat trauma-induced arthritis is characterized by basically the same symptoms as the acute traumatic arthritis, but this condition is developed more often by dogs that have an intense activity that generates joint instability.
Dog arthritis symptoms generated by inflammatory arthritis
Because your dog cannot tell you what is wrong with him/her, it is important to know his/her behavior and take even minor changes seriously. And in case of inflammatory arthritis, these changes are far less common than those encountered in the case of degenerative arthritis, so it is vital to observe them early.
Infective arthritis can be generated by a direct penetration of the joint, caused by a sharp object or bite, or by a microorganism, such as Staphylococcus, B-hemolytic Streptococcus, hemolytic E. coli, Corynebacterium and Erysipelothrix. The symptoms of infective arthritis are represented by sudden sore joints or acute lameness, depending on the source of infection.
Auto-immune arthritis affects several joints, which can be clearly seen as swollen. Also, a dog suffering from this condition has severe inflammation of the synovial membranes.
To make sure your furry friend gets the right treatment, before taking any decision, please consult the services of a veterinarian, as soon as you notice any dog arthritis symptoms in your pet.