Arthritis is quite prevalent in our canine companions. Approximately 25% of our furry friends suffer from this condition. Arthritis can affect dogs of all ages, but it is more common in older dogs. Approximately 80 percent of dogs over the age of eight experience this condition. Continue reading as a Richboro, PA veterinarian discusses this uncomfortable condition.


Understanding Canine Arthritis


Arthritis affects both dogs and people in a similar way. This condition can be quite uncomfortable for dogs as it occurs when the soft tissues surrounding their joints deteriorate, resulting in bone-on-bone contact. This can be quite difficult to endure, as you can probably imagine. It can also lead to a decline in Fido’s health and overall quality of life.


There are various types of arthritis in dogs, but the most frequently seen one is osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease.


Arthritis can cause discomfort for dogs, hindering their ability to engage in popular doggy activities like running, jumping, and playing. Your furry friend might become less active, causing a decrease in muscle mass and an increased chance of obesity.


Which Dog Breeds Are More Susceptible To Arthritis?


Although arthritis can affect any dog, certain breeds are more susceptible to this condition. It is quite common among many larger dogs.


The list includes these Very Good Boys:


  • St. Bernard
  • Newfoundland
  • Old English Sheepdog
  • Bernese Mountain Dog
  • Dachshund
  • Rottweiler
  • Samoyed
  • German Shepherd
  • Golden Retriever
  • Labrador Retriever
  • English Mastiff
  • Boxer
  • Chow Chow
  • English Springer Spaniel


How Can I Identify Signs Of Arthritis In Dogs?

Arthritis typically begins gradually, which can make it very easy to overlook the initial signs. Your furry friend might appear stiff and uncomfortable, particularly when he rises from rest. Initially, the limp may improve as your pet warms up and starts moving. As his condition worsens, the symptoms will become more noticeable.

Your pooch may have difficulties with mobility, such as entering and exiting vehicles, navigating stairs, and standing up or sitting down. Your dog may also be reluctant to have you touch any areas that are causing him discomfort, so he might flinch or try to move away when you try to pet those spots.

Here are a few additional red flags:

  • Reduced interest in play
  • Exercise intolerance
  • Licking or nibbling sore spots, particularly paws and legs
  • Fatigue
  • Stiff gait/posture
  • Grouchiness
  • Withdrawal

It’s important to note that symptoms can occasionally worsen quickly. That’s because cartilage lacks nerve endings. Fido may not experience the full effects of arthritis until the tissue has significantly deteriorated.

If you see any of these warning signs, reach out to your veterinarian without delay. 

What Factors  Contribute To Arthritis In Dogs?

Arthritis is usually caused by the natural process of wear and tear on the body. Fido’s joints can be affected by all the running, playing, and jumping. As time passes, the cushioning tissue gradually becomes thinner and less elastic.

However, there are additional factors that play a role. Fido might face a higher risk following an injury or infection. excessive, insufficient, or inappropriate physical activity can also excaberate the issue. Dogs that experienced health problems or inadequate exercise routines during their early years may face higher risks. Our canine companions experience rapid growth spurts, which can put a strain on their bodies. Ensuring a proper balance during the important puppy stage is essential to prevent future problems. Other illnesses, like diabetes, can sometimes trigger arthritis as well.

What Are The Options For Treating Arthritis In Dogs?

There are numerous treatment options available. The best options for your furry bestie will vary based on the stage and severity of Fido’s condition.

  • Laser therapy is one potential solution. This painless and nonintrusive procedure can assist in promoting natural healing. It’s a highly effective treatment for canine arthritis.
  • Physical therapy can be beneficial as well. 
  • Some other possible options include massage and acupuncture.
  • Swimming may be a viable choice for certain dogs, provided that your furry friend enjoys it and can swim safely. Not all puppies are comfortable in the water.
  • Additionally, supplements can provide assistance. Arthritic pups can sometimes benefit from things like glucosamine and fish oil. It’s important to consult with your veterinarian before introducing anything new to Fido.
  • There is the option of taking medication. NSAIDs can be helpful. This group encompasses a wide range of medications. These can be helpful in reducing pain and inflammation.  
  • There are other options you can consider, such as medication, hydrotherapy, acupuncture, and physiotherapy. 
  • In certain situations, surgery may be a viable choice.


Keep in mind that veterinary treatments are always provided based on individual circumstances. Once your furry friend has been thoroughly evaluated, your Richboro, PA vet can discuss the available options with you.


How Do I Keep Fido Comfortable? 

Arthritis cannot be cured, but it can be managed. In addition to the treatments mentioned above, there are also quite a few things that you can do at home. 


  • Make sure your furry friend has a comfortable bed to rest in. Orthopedic beds provide excellent support, making them a fantastic choice.
  • A healthy doggy exercise routine is crucial. As far as exercise goes, it’s important to consult your vet for personalized recommendations, as each puppy’s needs may differ. Naturally, you wouldn’t want to push your furry friend too hard. For most dogs, it’s ideal to take them on short walks regularly. Make sure to monitor Fido closely and bring him indoors when he appears fatigued.
  • Diet is crucial as well. Obesity will only make the problem worse.  Prepare yourself for the irresistible charm of that adorable furry face, especially if your dog happens to be a bit on the chubby side. It’s best to steer clear of feeding your furry friend processed human foods, as they can potentially cause inflammation. Additionally, supplements can be beneficial.
  • Maintaining regular pawdicures is also important. Short nails are important for your pup’s traction and the natural alignment of his toes when walking. 
  • You might consider getting your furry companion pet ramps or stairs to assist them in getting in and out of the car and (if permitted) getting on and off the bed.
  • Consider using runners or area rugs to protect your floors. This will ensure that your furry companion can get decent traction. It will also help provide a bit of cushioning in the event of any accidental slips or falls.
  • Arthritis symptoms can worsen in cold and wet weather. Ensure that Fido remains warm and dry during gloomy weather!
  • If you choose to bathe your dog at home, it might be worth considering the option of taking him to a professional groomer. Getting in and out of the tub might pose a challenge for Fido. Groomers have stations designed to be more accessible for stiff and sore pups.


Of course, it’s also important to keep your furry pal happy, healthy, and comfortable. Pay lots of attention to Fido, and keep that tail going! 


Consult your Richboro, PA veterinarian for personalized guidance.


Schedule An Appointment At Our Richboro, PA Pet Clinic.


Do you have any concerns about your pet possibly having arthritis? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us, your nearby pet clinic. As your local Richboro, PA veterinary clinic, we are delighted to assist you!