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Arthritis in dogs

Dog arthritis can be due to a number of causes, chief among them congenital abnormalities, injuries and of course, the effects of the aging process. Even minor injuries can result in arthritis in dogs. Certain conditions, such as hip dysplasia are more common in some dogs than others and this predisposition can also indicate a higher likelihood of arthritis in dogs. Of course, older dogs who have never suffered an injury may develop the ailment as they get older.

There are many forms of arthritis in dogs that can create pain. As in the case of humans, dog arthritis is an inflammation of a joint or joints. Anywhere a dog has a joint they can have arthritis. The cartilage in the joint may be inflamed, but it can also be joint fluid causing the issues within the bones. The main types of arthritis in dogs are osteoarthritis, immune mediated, infective, and idiopathic arthritis.

Arthritis in dogs is usually first manifested as a slow and gradual limpness in the limbs. Lameness will be the result and may reach the point where the dog has a hard time walking. This will lead in most cases to the dog being less active in play, walks and even moving about the home. Stiffness is likely to be more severe in the morning or after a nap but the stiffness is often minimal in the daytime, however.

A dog with arthritis will also feel pain in the joints when you touch their limbs near the affected area. Another symptom may be swelling of the limb around the joint. This may not be visible to the naked eye, however.

There is arthritis medicine for dogs that will help treat the inflammation. However, many dog owners find that natural treatments for arthritis in dogs are more helpful. Glucosamine for dogs and MSM for dogs are two popular natural ingredients for dog arthritis treatments (and arthritis treatments for humans, as well). In fact, many experts are of the view that there are three essential ingredients for an effective natural arthritis treatment - glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM.

Glucosamine is an amino sugar that occurs naturally in the body. However, the ageing process is thought to diminish the body's ability to produce sufficient glucosamine for the body's needs. Glucosamine is not found in any primary food source, but is derived from the shell of shellfish. It has anti inflammatory properties that can be very effective in managing osteoarthritis in both humans and animals.

In many cases, a change in diet may be sufficient to alleviate arthritis in dogs. Some arthritic conditions will respond to this step in conjunction with exercise. Obesity can be a factor in the development of arthritis, so by keeping the animal at a healthy weight, the aches and pains of arthritis can be taken away, as well as keeping the dog in a better overall state of health.

However, arthritis remedies of various sorts may be needed along with a change of diet in order to manage the pain and other symptoms of dog arthritis.

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