Causes of Joint Pain in Dogs

Joint pain in dogs is not an uncommon occurrence. There are times where the pain can become so great that the dog has trouble simply moving around. Mobility is a need for the dog, and being unable to walk, run or play does not make for a happy pet. You should be concerned about the condition of your dog's joints. Noticing that your dog has difficulty while walking or climbing stairs should make you alert that your dog is suffering from joint pain. This pain can start out mild, but over time it can become excruciating.

Slipping Kneecap

A slipping kneecap, or a luxating patella, is something that every dog is susceptible to developing. This disorder occurs when the small bone in front of the stifle joint literally slips out of the groove where it is normally kept. This will happen when the dog bends its knee. It is usually the result of the groove in the knee being too shallow. This is inherited from the parents of the dog, so it is hard to tell if your dog will develop it or not. This kind of disorder commonly affects larger breeds of dogs when they are puppies and still developing. It will cause your dog some pain and discomfort, and noticing which knee it affects should be simple. Catching this disorder early is the key to treating it.

Joint Sprain

There are times when a dog's joint can become sprained. A sprained joint is commonly noticed by the obvious swelling around the joint. You will also see some lameness in the affected joint and leg. The dog will favor its other legs more, so as to keep as much weight off the afflicted joint as possible. You should not move your dog during this period. It is important that you keep the dog to a confined space so it can rest. Apply some cold packs to the joint to decrease the swelling. After 24 hours of applying cold packs, wrap a warm, moist towel around the joint for three days. This will sooth the joint and, hopefully, bring the swelling down. If you do not notice any changes after the first 24 hours, there may be a more serious injury than a simple joint sprain.

Tendon Injuries Are Common

Tendons can often become torn, stretched or ruptured. You will notice some swelling around the afflicted joint, lameness and an inability for the dog to walk on the leg. The severity of the damage to the tendon determines if surgery will be required. There are times when the tendon heals on its own, without the need for medical treatment. There are other times where the tendon has become completely dislocated from the muscle, so medical treatment reattaches the two back together.

Arthritis In Dogs

Most joint pain in dogs is caused by arthritis. This disease affects one in five dogs around the world. Monitor your dog's daily activity for any changes. If you find your dog has suddenly become lethargic or inactive, investigate to discover the problem. You will need a physical exam and X-rays taken of your dog. Both of these will be ale to conclude whether or not your dog is suffering from arthritis.