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Arthritis Awareness
> Advice > Dogs > Arthritis Awareness

Arthritis Awareness

Arthritis Awareness

Arthritis is a complex condition involving inflammation of joints. It is very common, especially in older dogs.

There are many causes but, in general, the degree of arthritis is directly related to the age of the animal. Just as with us, the older a dog is, the stiffer the joints tend to be.

By far the most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis (OA) which is perhaps better described as degenerative joint disease (DJD) since it is a progressive breaking down of the joint surfaces most commonly as a result of excessive wear and tear secondary to conditions involving joint mobility such as hip dysplasia and cruciate ligament rupture.

Although DJD is a progressive disease, early recognition, diagnosis and treatment of is very important in slowing the progress of the disease to ensure that dogs continue to live long and pain-free lives as far as possible.

At first, the signs are often subtle and many people think their dog is just getting old but, in fact, their dog can be in significant pain. Rarely will dogs cry out in pain with DJD. They have no idea that there are treatments available that can make them feel lots better and they don't have to suffer in silence. Ask yourself this; how would you know if someone (a person) close to you was suffering from arthritic pain? As a human, theu could tell you verbally, but unless they were lame or behaving oddly, it might not be obvious.

As responsible dog owners, we need to be looking out for the subtle developing signs of OA and so we have developed the questionnaire below as an aid to recognising if your dog is showing signs of arthritis.

Treatments for arthritis are varied, depending on the presenting signs and the individual dog. Sometimes, simple lifestyle changes (such as changes to exercise regimes and not having to go up and down stairs) can make huge differences. Ensuring your dog is not overweight is critical. Certain nutraceuticals can be helpful but beyond these, modern veterinary medicine has a large range of anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain-killing) drugs available which can transform the quality of life for some dogs with arthritis.

If you have a dog over 7 years old, please complete the form below and click the submit button. Your form will be sent to a qualified AlphaPet member of staff who will be able to assess if your dog is showing signs of osteoarthritis and will be able to give you appropriate advice.

 

Arthritis Assessment Form
  1. (required)
  2. (valid email required)
  3. (required)
  4. (required)
Background information
  1. In the last week, on average, how far has your dog exercised each day?
  2. In the last week, how many walks has your dog had each day?
  3. What type of exercise is this?
  4. Are there any particular days of the week on which your dog has significantly more exercise?
  5. On what sort of terrain does your dog most often exercise?
  6. Who limits the extent to which your dog exercises?
Arthritis Assessment Questions
  1. How would you describe your dog’s general mobility?
  2. How would you assess your dog’s overall weight? Field
  3. How active is your dog, in general?
  4. How keen is your dog to exercise?
  5. How would you rate your dog’s ability to exercise?
  6. How often does your dog rest (stop/sit down) during exercise?
  7. To what degree does your dog show stiffness or lameness after a “lie down”?
  8. What is the effect of your dog’s lameness on their ability to exercise?
  9. What is the effect of cold, damp weather on your dog’s lameness and general stiffness?
  10. What overall effect does exercise have on your dog’s lameness?
  11. What is the effect of cold, damp weather on your dog’s ability to exercise?
  12. How disabled is your dog by their lameness?
  13. Please now click the Submit button. A member of staff will be in contact with you in the next few days.