Don’t think that osteoarthritis and arthritis are only suffered by the elderly. Dogs also suffer from osteoarthritis and arthritis. But are osteoarthritis and arthritis the same thing? What are the symptoms? And what are the treatments? In this post we solve all your doubts and give answers to these questions.
What is the difference between osteoarthritis and canine arthritis?
In order to differentiate between the two ailments, the simplest way is to look at their definition.
Canine osteoarthritis is a chronic, degenerative disease that affects the function of the joints. It appears during the ageing phase in dogs and is due to wear and tear of the joints or the ailments of old age. It can also be the result of a fracture or joint abnormality, such as hip dysplasia. This condition is more common in larger, older dogs and occurs in joints that have more movement, such as the hip. A loss of cartilage occurs, which causes the mobility of the bones in the joints to rub together and wear down, causing pain. It occurs from 12 years of age in the case of small breeds and from 8 years of age in the case of large breeds.
Canine arthritis is an inflammatory disease that can be caused by immunological, infectious or post-traumatic disorders. Arthritis can damage the synovial membrane, i.e. the layer that protects the body’s joints, and can occur at any time in a dog’s life.
What treatments are available to combat osteoarthritis and arthritis in dogs?
Your vet will advise you on the specific medication best suited to your dog’s condition, and the treatment is sure to help your dog feel much better and suffer less pain.
But there are also some habits that can ease the pain and that you should include in your dog’s daily routine, as they will help to slow down the progress of the disease and considerably improve the dog’s quality of life:
- Take leisurely walks or swim at the beach. In general, regular, low intensity exercise if he is not used to it.
- Do not force him with intense exercise in the growing stages, as his joint tissues are still tender and more prone to damage.
- Take him to a canine physiotherapist to strengthen his joints, muscles, ligaments and tendons.
- Avoid overweight and obesity. It is very important not to overload his joints.
- Overweight dogs have more wear and tear on their joints (which have to put extra strain on them) and are therefore more likely to suffer from osteoarthritis. In this case, a diet that promotes weight control or weight loss is recommended. It has been shown that a high percentage of dogs suffering from osteoarthritis and overweight, by restricting their calorie intake, reduce their lameness problems.
What food is recommended for dogs with osteoarthritis or arthritis?
You should definitely choose a healthy food that is suitable for your dog’s needs, but with a lower fat content. Picart Petcare offers Picart Select Veterinary Diets Joint & Mobility, a food specifically formulated for dogs suffering from joint processes, and also to help prevent possible joint problems in dogs with a high level of physical activity. How can a food improve the health of your dog’s joints? Thanks to its composition:
- Features Green Lipped Mussel extract, Glucosamine and Chondroitin to help reduce joint pain.
- Includes Organic Zinc and extra Vitamin E to help reduce inflammation and joint stiffness.
- Incorporates Omega-3 DHA from Krill to support joint health and help reduce cartilage degradation.
- Has MSM to support cartilage health.