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56Arthritis is joint disease which is common to both people and pets. The term arthritis is used in both the fields of human and veterinary medicine to describe various types of joint inflammation. There are varying types of arthritis which also have varying causes. Degenerative, rheumatoid and infections are types of arthritis each with unique characteristics and causes. Autoimmune disease, sulfa and other antibiotics, infections each can promote joint inflation.

Despite having diverse causes, the clinical signs for joint disease are basically the same. Pain, stiffness or lack of mobility are typical and the most common indicators of arthritis. Exercise, impact movements and cold weather often aggravate or worsen the symptoms. Although dogs are not able to verbally tell us they are suffering from the discomfort and pain of arthritis, observation of them at play or walking provide the evidence of joint deterioration or disease. There are modern medications and surgical techniques which may be options to treat a dog with canine joint disease.

Degenerative joint disease or osteoarthritis is the condition in which a cartilage erosion or defects occur. Whole this can inherited in certain breeds, more frequently it is likely part of the unavoidable aging process in aging dogs. Infectious arthritis caused by bacteria which enters through the blood stream casues inflammation by attacking one or more joints. Bacteria from the gum and dental disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease all are capable of damaging the cartilage and joint structure.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a form of an autoimmune-related disease which occurs more frequently in smaller dogs or toy breeds. The cause is an overactive immune system where antibodies join within the joints causing swelling, irritation and deterioration of the joint. Fever and depression are also symptoms of a pet with these diseases. While hip dysphasia is an inherited arthritic condition which starts as a partial dislocation of the hip joint overtime the cartilages which line the joint surfaces wear down because of excessive straining of the joints.

Like so many diseases and ailments, early detection and treatment are vital to lessoning the impact and effects of any form of arthritis. Your veterinarian is training to understand and provide the best and correct type of treat which can include antibiotics, immunosuppressive drugs, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. The use supplements, vitamins and cortisone may be included in the treatment of canine arthritis. Being your pets advocate is key by bringing you pet in for analysis and providing your observations to your veterinarian.


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