What is arthritis?
Arthtits is joint inflammation that is the result of cartilage damage. The loss of cartilage will increase the bone on bone contact at the level of the joint that will lead to formation of bone spurs. These changes will result in loss of range of motion, stiffness, and discomfort.
What are the risk factors for arthritis?
Well known risk factors of arthritis are obesity, large breeds dogs, strenuous exercise, and underlying orthopedic diseases (ligament tear, knee cup luxation, hip and elbow dysplasia, fractures, etc ).
Can arthritis go away?
Arthritis is a progressive disease that will eventually cripple the patient; If possible surgical intervention and medical management should be instituted immediately to slow down its progression and improve the environment of the joint.
How can I tell that my dog has joint pain / arthritis?
Arthritis can be suspected by observing your dog’s behavior such as reluctance to daily activity such as going for a walk, going up and down stairs, and jumping . Commonly theses behavioral changes are interpreted by the owners as laziness or normal aging instead of pain.
Additionally, radiographs and physical examination by your veterinarian can confirm the diagnosis of arthritis.
What is the treatment for arthritis?
It is important to understand that there is not a cure for arthritis, however it can be managed surgically and medically.
The role of surgery in managing arthritis is to slow down its progression by decreasing the friction that occurs in the abnormal joint. If the damage is done it cannot be reversed.
The medical management of arthritis include drugs /supplements, physical therapy, regenerative medicine (stem cell), acupuncture, and weight loss.