Canine Rheumatoid Arthritis Explained

Discover the symptoms and treatments for canine rheumatoid arthritis. This debilitating condition affects dogs from six months to eight years of age and causes joint deformities.

Knowing if Your Dog Has Rheumatoid Arthritis

Common symptoms of arthritis type include joint pain, stiffness and difficulty walking up stairs or getting up from a laying position. Often, the dog's joint feels warm and swollen. Dogs with canine rheumatoid arthritis often have low-grade fevers.

In a small percentage of cases, animals affected by this arthritis tested positive for having the canine distemper virus present in their joint tissue. Whether the causes of arthritis of the joints are from the vaccination or contracting the disease is undergoing research. What is certain is that antibodies known as "rheumatoid factor" gather in the joints. The dog's immune response targets these antibodies damages the cartilage and bone within that joint.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatments

If your dog is overweight, helping him to lose weight will help ease the strain placed on the affected joints. Pets with canine rheumatoid arthritis see improvements when given anti-inflammatory pain medications, such as buffered canine aspirin. You can buy the buffered aspirin at most pet stores.

Steroids may improve swelling. Your veterinarian must prescribe them.

Vitamin supplements containing Chondroitin and Glucosamine also show impressive results with easing the pain of arthritis.