As a responsible pet owner, you need to be careful about your dog’s health condition, otherwise, they might develop some major health problems like joint disorders, digestive problems, or other nutritional deficiencies. Dogs usually suffer from 2 types of joint disorders: developing and degenerative joint problems. The degenerative joint problem occurs as a result of the regular wear and tear of cartilage such as osteoarthritis, while the developmental joint problem occurs when the joints do not develop properly, e.g. hip dysplasia.
This article enlisted the five (05) common joint problems in dogs:
Older dogs are more prone to develop a variety of joint issues like osteoarthritis or patellar luxation. In elderly dogs, osteoarthritis is the most prevalent cause of joint discomfort and stiffness. The wear and tear of the cartilage in the joints of the shoulders, hips, and legs cause this degenerative condition. Unfortunately, this condition has no cure. In dogs, the diet has an important role in decreasing joint disorders. Therefore, veterinarians suggest providing a healthy diet comprising glucosamine, chondroitin sulphate, and methyl-sulfonyl-methane to prevent osteoarthritis. Regular exercise with a nutritionally balanced diet can help to avoid such conditions in your dog. For severe joint disorder cases, always seek help from a licensed veterinarian.
2. Hip Dysplasia
Canine hip dysplasia occurs when a dog’s hip joints fail to grow properly. This most common skeletal disorder affects almost millions of dogs throughout the world. While left untreated, the disease progresses and deteriorates the condition of the hip joint that causing severe joint pain and mobility problems. Usually, large-sized dog breeds are more affected in this condition. Several risk factors for developing this condition include obesity, hip injuries, repetitive injury or trauma, etc. This condition is mostly accompanied by several arthritic issues in later years.
3. Elbow Dysplasia
Elbow dysplasia refers to abnormal bony growth and cartilage development in the elbow joint of young and rapidly growing dogs. In later years, this condition usually progresses into canine elbow osteoarthritis. Main symptoms of elbow dysplasia include lameness and stiffness which can develop between the age of 4 and 8 months. In advanced cases, osteoarthritis may develop excessive fluid accumulation and crackling sound inside of the joint.
4. Canine Cruciate Ligament Injury
In dogs, the cranial cruciate ligament joins the femur with the tibia and helps to keep the stifle joint stable (knee). Due to sudden strenuous activity or physical injury, this ligament can be ruptured and causes instability and swelling of the stifle joint in dogs. This condition is extremely painful and most of the time, dogs require surgery to correct this condition. Some heavy breeds like Rottweilers, German Shepherd, Labradors, etc. are very much prone to develop this condition.
Osteochondrosis is a disorder of bone and cartilage formation that separates immature cartilage from the underlying bones in rapidly growing dogs. Signs and symptoms of osteochondrosis include swelling, pain, fluid accumulation in the joint, and lameness. Ultimately, inflammation of the joint may lead to arthritis and affect joint mobility. Veterinarians suggest avoiding high-growth foods to prevent this condition. Other probable causes of osteochondrosis include rapid development of bones, trauma, and inheritance.
Finally, dog owners can easily prevent these joint problems by taking the necessary steps. Veterinarians suggest some joint supplements comprising enough nutrients to nourish the joints to maintain adequate joint health. Routine check-ups with the veterinarian may help your dog to prevent joint disorders and stay healthy.