We use the term a lot, but what exactly is arthritis? Well the first thing to say is that it is not a single disease – it is a term that covers over 100 medical conditions.  If you have trouble moving around or feel pain and stiffness in your body, you could have arthritis and the same is true of our furry friends. In the majority of cases arthritis causes pain and swelling in the joints.  Eventually, a swollen joint can suffer severe damage.

Risk Factors contributing to Arthritis:

* Old age

* Overweight dogs

* Large breed dogs

* Previous joint injury

* Dogs with predisposing conditions eg hip dysplasia, osteochondritis dissecans (OCD)


Checklist for arthritic dogs:

* Keep daily exercise levels constant

* Swimming can be beneficial

* Give medication as prescribed but DO NOT increase the dose without advice

* Ensure the dog’s bedding is well padded

* Reduce weight if necessary (with veterinary advice). Note that weight loss must be achieved by modifying the diet and not by increasing the amount of exercise.

* Be prepared for symptoms to vary a little in intensity from day to day, week to week and season to season – even when on medication

The following article was by and is all about holistic treatments for arthritis, just in case you wanted to try a less pharmacological direction in looking after your dog.