Most of us have heard of Arthritis in dog joints and the lameness and pain it can cause to our beloved pets. But what is Arthritis?
Arthritis means literally inflammation within the joint. Naturally the dogs body uses inflammation as our healing process, as a defense against infections, bacteria or injuries. This type of Arthritis does the opposite and attacks via the immune system the joints. The inflammation it creates can cause damage, pain & less mobility. Tendons, ligaments surrounding the inflamed joint can be affected.
Mechanical or Degenerative Arthritis is mainly damage to the cartilage, which covers the ends of the bones. To help the joints move smoothly the cartilage is smooth. When the cartilage becomes thinner & rough, the bone underneath start repairing this damage but sometimes overgrows which alters the shape of the joint, named Osteoarthritis.
This type of Arthritis affects mainly the joints in older dogs and the ones that had most wear through heavy use like the hip joint. But it can also result from damage to a joint which was fractured or inflamed in the past due to injury, etc.
Pain can be caused by; joints, ligaments, bones, discs, muscles or even other organs inside the body. (referred pain).
It is not always possible to identify the exact cause of the pain, but when it is degenerative osteoarthritis in the spine it's known as spondylosis. This can cause sudden back pain if one of the bones in the spine crunches down and often causes bone spurs.
When the central part of a disc bulges through the outer ring, 'slipped' disc, it causes more often pain in a limb.