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Arthritis in Cats and Dogs

Understanding Arthritis in Cats and Dogs

Understanding Arthritis in Dogs and Cats

The general term “arthritis” means an inflammation of the joint.  There are three main forms of arthritis:  Septic Arthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and OsteoArthritis.  Septic Arthritis is caused by an infection and Rheumatoid Arthritis is caused by a malfunction in the immune system.  The most common form of arthritis in pets, however, is OsteoArthritis, which is caused by the bones.

The Effects of OsteoArthritis in Your Pet

When your pet develops OsetoArthritis, its bones become damaged from the cartilage wearing away.  The cartilage is a natural barrier that is in place in order to prevent the bones from grinding each other when the joint moves.  If this cartilage becomes rough, or dries out or becomes chipped, your pet’s bones become exposed. 

Over time, the exposed bone becomes flat and it loses its resilience.  As a result, the joint stops moving smoothly and causes creaks and jerks.  In an attempt to repair the damage, your pet’s body sends white blood cells to the joint.  Instead of fixing the problem, however, the white blood cells cause enzymes and free radicals to be released.  This actually makes the problem to become worse because the synovial fluid, which helps lubricate the joint, becomes damaged.  Over time, the area becomes inflamed and causes painful arthritis in your pet.

How Arthritis Develops

OsteoArthitis is a common problem in animals.  It is the most common type of skeletal disease affecting dogs and, as such, most dogs develop arthritis as they get older.  Approximately 20% of cats develop arthritis as well.  In fact, signs of arthritis are even found in dinosaur fossils.

A variety of factors contribute to your pet developing OsteoArthritis.  Dogs that are obese and athletic are prone to developing arthritis.  Dogs suffering from Cushing’s disease and diabetes are also more susceptible to arthritis.  In addition, dogs who have experienced injury or trauma, including elbow dysplasia and hip dysplasia, are more likely to develop OsteoArthritis. 

A variety of products such as Sasha Blend and Glucosamine Tabs and , which contains natural glucosamines,  can help manage your dog’s arthritis.