Causes of Joint Pain in Dogs
Joint pain can be seen in dogs of all breeds and ages but is much more common in senior large breed dogs.
Many dog owners think that their dog is "slowing down" because of old age, but this is often a sign of joint pain, not old age. If this condition isn't treated, it often leads to more serious injuries or illnesses. Our veterinarians talk about the different types of joint pain in dogs, as well as the causes, symptoms, and treatments for them.
Two types of conditions can cause your dog to experience joint pain: developmental and degenerative.
Developmental Joint Conditions
Developmental joint problems are caused by abnormal joint development in your dog's early years, which is often passed down. This can lead to more serious injuries, like hip or elbow dysplasia. These problems start when your puppy is a puppy. They are there from the start.
Many dog breeds, particularly large and giant dogs, are predisposed to painful joint issues such as:
- Rottweilers are prone to developing knee and ankle joint problems
- Bernese Mountain Dogs commonly develop elbow dysplasia
- Newfoundlands are one of the breeds that are most prone to developing issues in their cruciate ligament.
Degenerative Joint Conditions
Degenerative joint problems happen over time after a lot of use. These include cartilage deterioration and tendon damage. cruciate ligament problems are the most common cause of this type of joint pain. Pain happens when tissues break down over time because they are used a lot, causing more and more problems.
Degenerative joint problems can be caused by a wide range of things, from stress fractures to injuries or osteoarthritis. However, they are more common in bigger dogs, because their weight puts more strain on their joints over time.
Symptoms of Joint Pain To Be On The Lookout For
Dogs love being active and having fun, which makes it hard to tell if your dog has joint pain. Young and middle-aged dogs who are experiencing joint pain in the early stages are often still very excited about doing things that make them hurt (or lead to worsening of their condition).
To help your dog avoid increasingly severe pain due to joint issues watch for the earliest signs of joint discomforts, such as:
- Limping and stiffness
- Frequent slipping while moving
- Loss of Appetite
- Licking, chewing, or biting the affected area
Your dog should be checked out by your vet if you see any of these things happen without having a clear reason. They should be checked out for joint pain and its underlying conditions.
Treatments For Joint Pain In Dogs
Joint pain treatment will depend on how bad your dog's condition is and what caused it. Hip or elbow dysplasia will need surgery to fix, but other degenerative joint conditions can be treated with nutrition, rehabilitation, and exercise if they are found early enough and treated with these things.
In addition, your dog's doctor will compare your pup's weight to their size during the exam. Weight can put extra strain on their joints, so they may be told to go on a diet to help ease the pain in their joints.
The goal of joint pain treatment is to get your dog back to doing things that don't hurt. This is very important because strong muscles around your dog's joints help to lessen the stress and strain they are under. An active dog is a dog that is well-cared for.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.