Dog Athritis and Joint Degenerative - Causes and Protections

Arthritis or Degenerative Joint Disease is a major contributor to musculoskeletal degeneration in dogs and other pets. Osteoarthritis, or Degenerative Joint Disease contributes to the degeneration of your dog's frame, a sight that is heart breaking for any dog owner.  Let's not even mention the severe discomfort a dog is in when dealing with this disease and how  quickly the disease escalates.  Medication will only work for a short time.  Many dog owners are faced with the dilemma of putting their dog to sleep when the disease becomes unbearable for their dog to handle. 

The Main Causes of Arthritis
  • Cartilage degenerative : A genetic predisposition to malformation of the joints, such as hip dysplasia in dogs that can cause early joint degeneration.
  • Poor nutrition: High calorie carbohydrate-based diets can cause the body to grow faster than the cartilage does, inducing cartilage deficits.
  • Autoimmune diseases in which your pet’s body attacks its own joints.
  • Infectious diseases: Bacterial infections in the joints can trigger degeneration, as well as tick borne infections that spread to the joints.
  • Trauma (known or unknown).
Early Trauma or Injury Can Lead to Joint Disease Later

Trauma at an early age is an overlooked source of joint disease in dogs and cats.  A sudden movement that causes the head to jerk backward can cause cervical injury often gone unnoticed.  Pet trainers often recommend the owner jerk the dogs leash to get him to stop pulling.  Dr. Karen Becker, wellness veterinarian does not agree with this method because it can cause cervical trauma which later causes an early onset of joint disease and degenerative .  These early traumas go often go unnoticed and add up over a period of time.

Arthritis Preventative Measures
  • If your pet sustains an injury of any type, consider chiropractic care to help realign the spine and Central Nervous System. This will help prevent any future problems arising from your dog or cat's body shifting into an unhealthy position to compensate for his injury.
  • Another important factor is preventing dog arthritis and joint degenerative is regular exercise.  It is imperative that your dog has plenty of exercise on a daily basis. 

    You can kill two birds with one stone and socialize your dog and get him some exercise at the same time by providing him a play time with other dogs, either at the park or in a private setting.  You yourself should walk your dog daily and ensure he knows how to walk properly on a leash. A great exercise for dog and owner alike is to ride a bicycle with your dog on a leash.  It takes a little practice so start off slow but once you and you dog master it it is an extremely enjoyable experience and a heck of a lot more enjoyable than running the treadmill at the gym.

    Utilize the yard space that you have and teach your dog the come command and play the "Come Game." You need two people for this game, stand far apart, and call your dog to come (follow the instructions for teaching the command). Your dog will get exercise running back and forth between you and the other person, while at the same time getting praise each time he follows your command to come.  Once again you are also killing two birds with one stone - exercise and obedience.
In order for dog owners to protect their beloved animals from arthritis and joint degenerative they must first ensure they do not unknowingly cause trauma to their dog especially during training sessions and leash walks.  It is here that you need to train your animal to walk nicely on his leash so that he is not pulling you or trying to dart away on his leash, causing harm to himself. Pet owners need to ensure that chiropractic treatment, massage, and stretching is put into place when injury occurs, even if your dog shows no signs of pain or discomfort. It is wise to do stretching and massage weekly just in case an injury occurs you are not aware of. Regular exercise and proper obedience training should be actioned by every pet owner to ensure a healthy, strong, socialized, obedient pet.


  1. hello friends I really liked this information, a few days ago I read something similar on a site called wound infections, I would like to receive updates on this issue, as it is very interesting, thanks!

  2. It's such an interesting post on arthritis in dogs. Grayson, a 2 year old male Maine Coon presented with a significant lameness on the left rear leg after falling from the kitchen counter. An xray was inconclusive and a CT scan was performed that revealed a fracture in the growth plate of the left femur in AVDH veterinary hospital. The head of the femur was pinned back into position and he was sent home with cage confinement and medication. At the 1 month recheck, Grayson is back to his old self and his parents are excited with his recovery. Grayson once again loves to jump up on things and cause trouble.


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