Randy Kidd, DVM, Ph.D.
Arthritis, or degenerative joint disease, is phenomenally prevalent in dogs – in some breeds, more than half of older dogs can be affected. It is a painful disease that can affect any of the dog’s joints from the neck to the shoulders and hips and down through the entire length of all four limbs, including paws and toes. Dogs become more susceptible as they age.
Fortunately, there are several treatments, natural and conventional, for easing arthritic woes.
Normal and abnormal joints
A dog’s joints are the hinges that give the skeleton its flexibility and stability while walking, running and jumping. Normal joints are stabilized by ligaments and tendons, and they are also well-lubricated by synovial fluid. Healthy joint mobility combines a fluidity of movement with enough stability to keep the joint comfortably within its normal, full range of movement.
Joints that have been damaged or diseased or those that have an abnormal range of motion – either from having too much mobility or when they are “stuck” out of place – tend to become inflamed. By definition, arthritis is inflammation in a joint, and this inflammation can result in changes to the joint cartilage, the joint fluid, the joint’s capsule, and the bones surrounding the joint.
Want to read the full story? Pick up the March 2008 issue of DOG WORLD today, or subscribe to receive the best dog articles, dog news, and dog information every month!
Give us your opinion on Natural Wellness
Login to get points for commenting or write your comment below
Get New Captcha