Arthritis is a degenerative joint condition that affects as many as one in five adult dogs. Arthritis -- or osteoarthritis -- occurs when the smooth cartilage that protects your dog’s joint bones breaks down and the bone is exposed to painful wear and tear. This causes inflammation and pain, which certain pet meds can help alleviate.
Arthritis is often a natural result of aging and wear on the joints, but it is also a risk factor for large dogs who carry more weight on their joints and dogs with hip dysplasia . It can also develop from injuries sustained while the dog was growing or as the result of an immune disorder, though those cases are rare.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for arthritis, as it is a degenerative disease that progresses and does not reverse. Instead, treatment is aimed at making the dog more comfortable and improving joint mobility. Supportive treatments may include physical therapy, medications to treat pain and inflammation, a special diet , supplements , holistic treatments such as massage and acupuncture, and as a last result, surgery to fuse joints or replace damaged hips.