Understanding Arthritis in Dogs: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Understanding Arthritis in Dogs: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

If you’ve noticed your furry friend slowing down, seeming reluctant to move, or showing signs of discomfort during walks or playtime, they might be suffering from arthritis. Arthritis is a common condition in dogs, particularly as they age, and understanding its signs and treatments is crucial for ensuring your pet’s comfort and well-being.

What is Arthritis?

Arthritis in dogs, similar to humans, refers to inflammation of the joints. This inflammation can cause pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility. The most prevalent type of arthritis in dogs is osteoarthritis (OA), which involves the breakdown of joint cartilage and the underlying bone.

Arthritis Symptoms In Dogs

Identifying arthritis in dogs can be challenging since they can’t express their discomfort verbally. However, some common signs include:


• Limping or favoring one leg
• Stiffness, especially after rest
• Difficulty rising from lying down
• Reluctance to jump or climb stairs
• Irritability or changes in behavior
• Noticeable joint swelling or heat

Causes of Arthritis in Dogs

Several factors can contribute to the development of arthritis in dogs:


Age: As dogs get older, wear and tear on their joints increases.

Genetics: Certain breeds are more prone to developing arthritis due to genetic factors.

Obesity: Excess weight puts added stress on joints, accelerating joint deterioration.

Joint Injuries: Previous joint injuries or surgeries can predispose a dog to arthritis.

Infections: Joint infections (e.g., Lyme disease) can lead to arthritis.

Autoimmune Conditions: Some autoimmune diseases can cause joint inflammation.

5 Treatment Options For Arthritis In Dogs

While arthritis in dogs is not curable, several treatment options can significantly improve your dog’s quality of life:
  1. Medications: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and pain relievers can alleviate pain and reduce inflammation.
  2. Supplements: Glucosamine and chondroitin supplements promote joint health and reduce cartilage breakdown.
  3. Physical Therapy: Gentle exercise routines and physical therapy can help maintain joint mobility.
  4. Weight Management: Keeping your dog at a healthy weight reduces stress on joints.
  5. Alternative Therapies: Acupuncture, massage, and hydrotherapy can provide relief.

Ensure Your Pet's Well-Being: Book an Arthritis Evaluation For Your Dog Today!

If you suspect your dog is suffering from arthritis, seeking veterinary care is essential. At Animal Wellness Center, with our five locations across Southeast Wisconsin, you can access comprehensive veterinary care from certified specialists. Our experienced team can diagnose arthritis through physical exams and imaging, and develop tailored treatment plans to manage your dog’s condition effectively.


Don’t delay, if you notice any signs of arthritis in your dog. Book an appointment at Animal Wellness Center today, to ensure your beloved pet receives the care and attention they deserve. Together, we can keep your dog happy, active, and pain-free for years to come.


Contact Animal Wellness Center to schedule an appointment or learn more about our arthritis treatment options.