Dog Hip Arthritis

Hip arthritis in dogs occurs when smooth cartilage that protects the bones and joints is lost. Arthritis in dogs usually occurs due to old age and the normal wear on bones and joints develops. There is no pain associated with the wearing cartilage, but when this does happen, the bone becomes completely exposed and vulnerable. The bones and joints have small nerves within them, which can cause pain when friction develops. Joint inflammation may also occur. 

Canine arthritis of the hips is a common condition, especially in mature or aged canines. It can produce chronic and uncomfortable pain in your pet, and should be treated promptly by a veterinarian. This type of arthritis is one of the most common culprits of joint pain in dogs. Even though the condition is much more likely to affect elderly dogs, canines of all ages can develop hip arthritis and joint pain. Dogs that are overweight or inactive are more prone to arthritis. In addition, certain larger breeds of canines seem to have arthritis issues more than other breeds. 

Symptoms of Hip Arthritis in Dogs

Arthritis in the hips will likely cause a number of symptoms in your pet, including the following:

  • Lack of energy
  • Laziness
  • Pain in legs and joints
  • Trouble walking, standing, or moving
  • Depression
  • Fever
  • Weight Loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diminished muscle tone
  • Trouble laying down

Although some of these symptoms may indicate another condition or disease in your pet, these are the most common symptoms to look for with canine hip arthritis. Seek veterinarian assistance if you notice signs of arthritis or joint pain and inflammation in your pet. 

Diagnosing Hip Arthritis in Dogs

When you notice any of the classic signs of hip arthritis in your pet, contact a veterinarian as soon as possible. Your veterinarian will then perform a physical exam on your pet, which may include x-rays or other tests. Once the hip arthritis has been established in your pet, he may then begin the treatment option your veterinarian suggests. 

Treatment Options for Hip Arthritis 

There are a number of different treatment options available for canine arthritis. The treatment that is best for your dog may depend on the age and health of your pet, as well as the severity of his arthritis condition. Common treatments for hip arthritis in dogs are as follows:

  • Anti-inflammatory medications and NSAIDS
  • Surgical procedures
  • Joint fluid modification
  • Certain vaccines
  • Natural Remedies, including herbal medicines

Preventing Dog Hip Arthritis

Although arthritis in dogs is a common condition and not much can be done about the natural wear and tear of bones and joints, there are certain things pet owners can do to lessen the chance of arthritis developing in their pets. Regular exercise and keeping your dog active is an excellent way to prevent joint damage.

A healthy weight and diet is also very important in your dog's overall health and ability to remain active and fit. Be sure to make a nice spot in your home for your pet to sleep and make sure he is comfortable, as this will also prevent joint pain in the future. When your dog does develop arthritis, it is advised to help him get around more. This may include helping him climb stairs or lifting him onto high areas.