Canine Arthritis: What you need to know - Salt Lake Animal Physical Therapy
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Canine Arthritis: What you need to know

Here is a short read encapsulating all the important stuff you need to know about Canine Arthritis and what treatment to seek. 

Everyone loves their furry buddy. Sometimes, more than your human kin. And understandably so. Pets, especially dogs, are supremely loving, caring, and thoughtful. And to see them suffer or fall prey to severe conditions such as canine arthritis is a heart-wrenching sight.  

But if it helps, Canine arthritis is a common condition most dogs suffer if not when young, at least when they grow old. All the jumping around, skipping, and good times eventually take a toll on the bones and joints.

It is uncomfortable, causes stiffness and yes, it hurts. Arthritis or inflammation of the joints can cause significant pain if not treated on time. Day-to-day activities are hindered and can even cause mental health depreciation.

Thankfully, several effective treatment options can help your dog regain its happy, healthy, and active self! You need to choose the best canine arthritis treatment for your furry companion to ensure they fully recover! We will now bring to light more facts about this condition. This blog will cover the basics of canine arthritis, its symptoms, and available treatment options. You will also be able to explore the best canine arthritis treatment for your dog.

Let us dive right into it, shall we?

What is Canine Arthritis?

Canine arthritis, or inflammation of the joints, is a common problem for dogs that causes discomfort and pain. Arthritis causes the cartilage in the joints to change or damage, which causes the bones to rub against each other. This rubbing of the bones in the joints can be painful and uncomfortable and cause stiffness. In most cases, even bare movement further aggravates the condition and damages the cartilage more. Because of increased friction, the condition worsens as it causes a new bone to form around the joint. This makes the movement stiffer and enhances pain.

Before you seek the best canine arthritis treatment for your companion, check out the causes of this disease first.

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What are the causes of Canine Arthritis?

Arthritis is a painful disease primarily affecting older dogs. However, the conditions begin developing early. The causes of this condition can have its roots in abnormal bone and joint development. The severity and cause determine the number of joints affected. The increased friction and abnormal rubbing can be due to either joint instability, abnormal cartilage development, or damage caused by accidents (fractures or tears).

What are the symptoms of Canine Arthritis?

There are not one but several signs suggesting your furry buddy has arthritis. Listed below are some telltale signs signaling the condition.

  • Unwilling to exercise
  • Showing stiffness during movements and after long rests
  • Cranky and grumpy behavior
  • Inactiveness and worsening signs during cold or damp weather
  • Your dog licking at joints
  • Slower movements than usual

Before opting for the best canine arthritis treatment, you must look out for these symptoms. If you notice these signs, take your dog to the vet as soon as possible to identify the affected joints.

What is the diagnosis of arthritis?

Take your dog to a qualified vet. The vet, after examination, can determine which joints are affected by the condition. To be entirely sure, they may suggest x-rays, and blood samples familiarize themselves with the stage of the disease. Blood sampling ensures there are no other medical conditions related to arthritis.

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What treatment options are available for arthritis?

If your dog is diagnosed with arthritis, don’t worry. Your dog may continue living a healthy, active life, albeit you make the right next moves. Yes, the condition is incurable but not untreatable.

There are several treatment options available to treat arthritis. Most of them focus on heavy medications, drugs, and supplements. Once diagnosed with this condition, it can be challenging for your dog to restore its health. They may require continued treatment support throughout their lifetime. So better buckle up. 

Let us now explore the various treatments available for canine arthritis:

  • Physical Therapy/Physiotherapy: Physiotherapy is a preventative treatment that can improve your dog’s physiology. All the treatment options available under physiotherapy are preventative measures customized by experts, keeping in mind the stage of the disease. These include movement, sound waves, light, the action of water, and thermal agents. Physiotherapy is perhaps the best canine arthritis treatment for your dog. It can help reduce pain and also aims to decrease medication intake. Most dogs experience improved heart activity and can maintain an ideal weight because of the physical activities. Physical therapy has been proven to restore joint flexibility in affected dogs.
  • Cartilage Protectors: Since arthritis significantly affects cartilage and does widespread cartilage damage, it is essential to prevent further damage. These protectors help decrease cartilage damage, facilitate joint repair, and manage pain effectively.
  • Nutraceuticals: Nutraceuticals are not medications or drugs but are food supplements that promote healthy and active functioning in dogs. These supplements contain chondroitin and glucosamine, which are found in joint cartilage naturally. 
  • Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs): This alternative is an excellent option for treating inflammation caused by arthritis. They are the best as they offer an immediate impact. However, they should only be addressed for a short period. Using these drugs for medium or long durations can have harmful effects.

Why is dog physical therapy the best option?

Dog physical therapy is an excellent way to treat and manage the symptoms of arthritis. There are numerous benefits of it, including:

  • It helps maintain an ideal weight. Dog physical therapy consists of various physical exercises, facilitating weight reduction and weight maintenance.
  • Dog physical therapy aims to reduce pain and decrease medication intake.
  • It helps regain or maintain muscle mass.
  • It improves heart activity and stimulates the nervous system.
  • It helps regain joint flexibility.

Key takeaways

  • Canine arthritis is a common disease.
  • It can be painful, but not always.
  • It is incurable, but not the end.
  • Care and physical therapy are the best way to cope with the problem.


If your dog has been diagnosed with arthritis, it is best to seek professional help ASAP. While many treatment options are available, dog physical therapy is the best canine arthritis treatment. It can help your dog adapt to the condition and respond well to the medications.

Additionally, it gradually helps reduce the intake of medicines and enhance joint flexibility. But do you know what works best? 

Besides finding a good animal physical therapist, a healthy dose of love, care, and controlled activity, goes a long way in ensuring good mental health. If that is taken care of, your dog will be as jovial and loving as before. So while you do your bit, let a professional like me, Josh, handle the therapy part for the best results.