Different Causes and Types of Canine Arthritis


Arthritis in dogs is just like arthritis in humans. Osteoarthritis, better known as arthritis, causes painful inflammation of your dog’s joints. If your dog is suffering from arthritis, he or she may appear stiff, sore and slower than usual. They may also be less inclined to climb up stairs or jump up in your truck. Arthritis is often associated with older dogs, but young dogs can develop it as well. 

Luckily, there are joint supplements for dogs with arthritis, as well as other forms of treatment to help slow the progression of canine arthritis. For instance, feeding Alpha Dog’s healthy joint support supplements provides your dog with the nutrients necessary to maintain healthy joints at every stage of life.

Types Of Arthritis In Dogs

There are different types of arthritis in dogs, as well as varying degrees of severity.

Osteoarthritis, or degenerative joint disease (DJD) is a chronic disease that slowly breaks down cartilage surrounding joints. Cartilage is responsible for helping joints comfortably move around in all directions, and so as cartilage breaks down normal movements become increasingly painful.

Hip dysplasia is a genetic developmental disease that causes the hip joint to improperly form. This misalignment makes your dog susceptible to chronic inflammation of the hip joints, and ultimately painful cartilage deterioration.

Elbow dysplasia is a genetic disease that causes dog bones to improperly develop, leading to misaligned joints. This causes inflammation, cartilage damage, and can even cause chipped bones. Elbow dysplasia is more common in larger-breed dogs.  

Knee dysplasia is caused by malformation of knee joints; it is especially common in smaller-breed dogs. Just like hip and elbow dysplasia, it starts as an inherited condition with the potential to cause arthritis. In some cases, you can actually hear an affected dog’s kneecap pop in and out of position, known as luxating patella. If this occurs, your dog will limp until the knee pops back into place.   

Rheumatoid arthritis is fairly rare in dogs. It occurs in dogs with an inflammatory disease caused by an abnormal immune system. Treatment options for rheumatoid arthritis differ from osteoarthritis.

The Progression Of Arthritis In Dogs

Canine arthritis starts off mild and slowly progresses into a more painful condition. For instance, hip dysplasia starts off with poor conformation and misaligned stress points, which eventually causes cartilage surrounding certain joints to wear away faster than it can regenerate. 

As a result, the bone beneath the cartilage eventually becomes exposed and inflamed. In response, the surrounding joint capsule thickens, losses elasticity and becomes extra sensitive. The blood vessels that flow in and out of the area dilate and the joint swells up even more. Furthermore, elastic joint tissues stiffen and calcium deposits develop. Meanwhile nerve endings fire off and send pain signals to your dog’s brain. At this point, pain is pretty persistent and motion is increasingly restricted.

Once arthritis starts to progress, you’ll notice your dog trying to use their impacted joints as little as possible. At this point, some type of pain medication may be necessary to keep your dog active and fit, two important factors to prevent worsening of canine arthritis.

What Causes Arthritis In Dogs?

Arthritis does not discriminate. It can impact dogs of any age, breed or lifestyle. Albeit, there are certain factors that increase a dog’s risk for developing arthritis, such as:

  • A genetic predisposition to malformation of certain joints, such as hip or elbow dysplasia.
  • Poor conformation that causes imbalances in the body and misaligned stress points.
  • Obese dogs are more likely to develop arthritis than their furry fit friends.
  • Old age can lead to arthritis after many years of wear and tear on joints.
  • Stress and trauma to joints and supporting structures.
  • Overuse, repetitive motions and leading a very active lifestyle can contribute to the development of canine arthritis. That’s why Alpha Dog Nutrition is especially beneficial for hunting dogs, as it provides the nutrition necessary to keep your dog on his/her A-game despite the toll hunting takes on the body. 

Are Certain Dog Breeds More Prone To Canine Arthritis?

Certain dog breeds are more commonly diagnosed with arthritis, including the:

  • German Shepherd
  • Golden Retriever
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Dachshund
  • Newfoundland
  • Bernard
  • Rottweiler
  • Mastiff
  • Great Dane
  • Old English Sheep Dog

For the most part, larger dog breeds are more prone to joint issues. BUT there are certain small dog breeds predisposed to joint and cartilage disorders, such as bulldogs, basset hounds and dachshunds.

Hunting dogs, or dogs that lead a very active lifestyle, are more prone to developing arthritis. Just like human athletes, athletic dogs use their bodies to the fullest, which leaves them more susceptible to joint inflammation and damage.

Is Canine Arthritis Treatable? 

Yes! There is currently no cure for most types of arthritis but it is treatable. The moment you notice your dog showing signs of arthritis it’s important to visit a vet for a thorough examination and diagnoses. Treatment of canine arthritis may include all or some of the following:

  • Finding and treating any underlying causes of arthritis.
  • Prescription medications that reduce inflammation and joint pain.
  • Joint supplements for dogs with arthritis that lubricate joints and help rebuild damaged joint cartilage. (Learn more about Alpha Dog Nutrition supplements)
  • Putting your dog on a diet if he/she is overweight.
  • Surgery may be necessary in the most severe cases.

Is Arthritis In Dogs Preventable? 

Some forms of arthritis can be prevented with proper breeding practices, but not all types of arthritis are preventable. You can reduce your dog’s risk by feeding him/her a healthy diet packed with all of the nutrients they need to bounce back from hunting, agility tests or simply playing a long game of fetch at the park. You should also provide your dog with plenty of low-impact exercise, make sure they maintain a healthy weight and take action at the first sign of joint pain.


Joint Supplements For Dogs With Arthritis

As mentioned above, there are a number of treatment methods for dogs with arthritis, including the addition of nutritional supplements that lubricate joints and help rebuild damaged joint cartilage.

Dogs that lead an extremely active lifestyle, such as hunting dogs, require specialized diets. Should your hunting dog really be eating the same foods as the poodle that lives next door and spends all day napping and barking at the mailman? Of course not! That’s where Alpha Dog Nutrition comes into play, offering your dog what he really needs to keep up with an active lifestyle.

Regardless if your dog is at a genetic predisposition to arthritis or not, Alpha Dog Nutrition supplements are specially formulated to help maintain healthy joints. That means you and your four-legged pal can focus on what matters most, enjoying life to the fullest!

Give your dog the nutrients they are craving. Try Alpha Dog Nutrition supplements today.



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