Canine Arthritis

Arthritis which causes inflammation of the joints, is a common problem for dogs. Large breeds and senior dogs are especially prone to this painful condition. Arthritis can be the result of an injury, an infection, development defects, immune disorders, or quite simply chronic wear and tear of the joints.

Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease, or DJD for short, is the most common form of arthritis in dogs.

Arthritis occurs when the cartilage that cushions the ends of bones breaks down over time. Normally, cartilage allows for smooth, frictionless motion in the joint. With arthritis, the cartilage gets rough and eventually wears away, exposing the sensitive bone underneath. This results in pain, inflammation, and stiffness of the joint. The joint loses its stability, and bone spurs develop. This results in more pain and stiffness of the joint.

Arthritis can happen in any joint in the dog's body including the hips, elbows, knees, shoulders and spine. It is a progressive disease, in that it gets worse over time. It is often associated with old age, but can occur in younger dogs as well.