Osteoarthritis, or arthritis, is a joint disease that affects dogs as well as people. Arthritis in dogs can be as painful for our fur-babies as it is for us.
What is Arthritis in Dogs?
In healthy joints, the slippery tissue called cartilage cushions the ends of the bones in the joints. Unhealthy joints show something different. It is osteoarthritis (OA) or arthritis in dogs, no matter the term, the results are the same: cartilage that breaks down, causes pain and swelling. As it gets worse, bone spurs can form, causing more pain and joint damage.
These illustrations show the difference between healthy and unhealthy cartilage. The healthy joint looks like this:
An unhealthy joint looks like this:
Unfortunately, we cannot see this with our own eye, but rather need some sort of X-Ray or MRI to see it.
How would you know if your dog had unhealthy cartilage or healthy cartilage?
Some think the key symptom of dog arthritis is limping, but dogs are pretty good at hiding pain and may never limp. For some dogs, when this happens, your dog may simply become less active or show signs of stiffness when getting up. There may be some visible signs of arthritis in your dog's legs.
Arthritis can be difficult to recognize and your dog may not show any signs.
That’s why it’s important to talk to your veterinarian today about keeping your dog active and youthful. The earlier you start the better chance you have of bringing out the puppy inside him.
Risk Factors and Symptoms of Dog Arthritis
Unfortunately, our dogs cannot talk to tell you they might have arthritis. In fact, you may not notice the signs they may be showing. There are some contributing factors to arthritis in dogs.
- Breed: Large dog breeds like Labradors, Goldens
Shepherds are more likely to develop arthritis at a young age. Small to medium-sized dogs can have arthritis as well but it may not be as prevalent. and
- Age: Many think arthritis in older dogs is part of aging. While 80% of dogs will show signs of arthritis by age 8, 20% of dogs show signs as early as the age of one year. And just like in humans, there are ways to help relieve the symptoms if your dog has arthritis.
- Weight: It’s important to know the optimal weight for your dog’s breed. Try to keep him close to that weight to minimize stress on his joints. The more they weigh, the harder it is on your dog's mobility.
- Health History and Issues: Consider if your dog has joint issues such as hip dysplasia in dogs, knee problems or ligament injuries. If there has been an accident with your dog or if there has been a joint surgery. These are all health history issues that may contribute to arthritis in your dog.
- Mobility: Do you see your dog doing less? Do they have problems climbing stairs, or jumping up where they once jumped before? Do you need to help your dog to get in the car?
Dog Breeds at Risk for Arthritis
Question: Which of these breeds are at risk for arthritis?
Answer: All of them.
- Labrador Retrievers are the #1 most popular dog breed in the nation, but arthritis in Labradors is very common.
- Another popular large-breed dog, Golden Retrievers are at high risk for arthritis.
- With growing trends in pet adoption, Pit bull-type dogs have become quite popular in the U.S. but many do not know that arthritis is common in Pit Bulls.
- We celebrated "Bulldogs are Beautiful Day" by focusing on why we love Bulldogs as well as learning about arthritis in Bulldogs.
- German Shepherds or GSDs are the second most popular breed in the world today. They are courageous, smart, and at high risk for arthritis because of their size and the amount of activity they do.
- Beagles are one of the cutest breeds out there! While beagles are fun, their natural ability to track what they smell and run fast means they may eventually have joint problems from arthritis in dogs.
- As you can imagine, 53% of the dog population are considered Mixed-breed dogs. Whether a designer breed or adopted, mixed breeds get the best out of both worlds, but they also health problems, which make them at high risk for arthritis.
- Cocker Spaniels are medium-sized and graceful, and also the smallest breed in the sporting group. This natural athleticism puts them at risk for arthritis.
- Poodles are one of the top dog breeds out there. These dogs are known for being highly intelligent, beautiful and because of their size, at risk for arthritis.
- When you think of Great Danes, you realize their size is a big deal!
- Even bigger dogs are Mastiffs, which also have big hearts.
- Bernese Mountain Dogs are some of the biggest, most beautiful breeds out there.
- In March recently, we highlighted several Irish dogs including the Irish Wolfhound and Irish Setters, which often struggle with arthritis.
- They don't have to be big dogs, small dogs like all sorts of Terriers also get arthritis.
- When you think of Old English Sheepdogs, do you think of the dog from the Shaggy DA? We do too! And also, we think of arthritis in dogs.
- The beautiful Husky breed is one of the most iconic dogs there are. They also have arthritis.
- Do you think of the movie 101 Dalmatians, when you think of that breed? Us too! We also think about arthritis and how it impacts this active breed of dog.
- We love Boxers, and they are one of those breeds that are majestic, regal and at risk for arthritis.
- Do you think of Lassie when you think of Collies? We do too! We also think of arthritis in dogs, as Collies are at risk.
- Many people use Rottweilers for protection, they are very strong, loyal dogs. They also get arthritis.
- Gentle giant Saint Bernards are at risk because of the size and weight of this breed.
- Greyhounds are the fastest dog breed there is! No wonder they get arthritis in their joints.
Keep checking back to see what new breeds we have added to this article!
Could Your Dog Have Arthritis?
Next time you are at the veterinary clinic, ask for more information about arthritis in dogs. Or, an easy way to see if your dog could be at risk for arthritis, or possibly showing symptoms of dog arthritis is to take this short dog arthritis quiz with just a few questions and we will email your personalized results to you.
Treatments for Arthritis in Dogs
According to Petmd.com, arthritis in dogs is fast becoming one of the most common health problems seen by veterinarians. As humans and dogs age, arthritis becomes more likely.
For dogs, there are certain breeds that have a higher propensity for arthritis in dogs. Talk to your veterinarian for more information about arthritis and how to treat it.
With more and more people thinking openly about holistic treatments rather than the traditional approaches of the past, the industry of human health care is often a popular topic of conversation. For dogs, it’s no different. Pet parents are often researching how to naturally ease their dog’s sufferings from a specific ailment to not just avoid pain but help them feel as good as possible.
There are many natural remedies you can learn about, including:
- People are taking their dogs to a canine chiropractor and getting great results.
- Similarly, acupuncture can provide tremendous relief.
- There are massage techniques you can do for your dog at home.
- And the right joint supplement will help your dog heal from the inside.
4 Ways to Help Dogs with Arthritis at Home
If your dog is at risk or has arthritis, here are some things you can do at home to help.
- Make sure your dog is still active to help their joints work better. This includes regular walking and playing with your dog. A great opportunity to go to the dog park!
- Keep the weight down for your dog. The heavier the dog, the more pressure on their joints. Every bit helps to make them more comfortable.
- Massage therapy for a dog works just as well as it does for humans. You can do this yourself.
- Provide more cushion for your pets. This includes a fluffy bed, rugs on the floor to lie on and more. If they are on a hardwood floor most days, that will begin to feel less comfortable.
Ask yourself what makes you more comfortable if your joints were aching? Most likely you would be taking some sort of supplement and trying to stay active with a good diet and exercise. You can do the same for your dog.
Our dogs are not just like family – they ARE family!
Products to Help Dog Arthritis
Arthritis is a progressive disease in dogs just like humans and there is no known cure. That is why prevention and protection of dog’s joints early on through diet, exercise and the use of different therapies is key to keeping your dog moving like the puppy they are at heart.
Dogs can start to show signs of arthritis as early as 1 year of age. According to the Vet Times (pdf), the degenerative joint condition can be found in 20% of dogs before their first year and 80% of more senior dogs at or over age 8. The key is for early treatment to minimize discomfort and visible appearance of pain that could impact your fur-baby on a daily basis.
Nutritional supplements are a natural way to decrease the inflammation in joints and increase joint health and cartilage development which helps keep your dog more active and youthful.
Joint supplements are created from nutritional ingredients that are vital to healthy joints. The best part is supplements can be started early on with dogs and be taken for long periods of time without the same risk of side effects as other treatments.
Glyde Mobility Chews is one of the best joint supplements for your dog. But there are others. Know what to look for in joint supplements.
The key to picking the right supplement is to focus on the ingredients and the proper levels that your dog needs.
Green Lipped Mussel (GLM)
Now you know arthritis (OA) is a painful joint disease that affects people as well as dogs. It happens because as our joints age, inflammation begins. Humans can feel this difference, identify a problem, talk about it and seek help if needed.
Unfortunately, our dogs can’t. It’s up to us as the pet parents to do this for them. When pet parents start seeing the signs of slow movement or stiffness in their dog or cat, most attribute it to aging. But just as in humans, this process can happen earlier than it should, and you can do something about it.
Glyde Mobility Chews has a unique combination of proven ingredients, plus we proudly use the all-natural added power of Green Lipped Mussel (GLM).
Studies have proven whole GLM contains complex proteins, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, glycosaminoglycans, chondroitin sulfate, nucleic acids and essential fatty acids such as Omega-3.
Green lipped mussel is from the pristine waters of New Zealand. GLM is not something new and the immense health benefits associated with them have already been proven in humans. Adults already take advantage of this supplement to help relieve the signs of aging, especially when arthritis and swollen joints are an issue. Pets should have that opportunity as well.
Glucosamine and Chondroitin for Dogs
Glyde Mobility Chews gets the GLM from the pristine waters of New Zealand. But there is much more to Glyde than Green Lipped Mussel (GLM), there are two other main ingredients that make it special: Glucosamine and Chondroitin.
While there are other products with Glucosamine and Chondroitin, the proven levels inside Glyde Mobility Chews packs a powerhouse of goodness for joint mobility.
Glucosamine is a key ingredient that reduces pain and improves joint function. While Chondroitin Sulfate also reduces pain but also improve joint function and mobility. Together, working with Green Lipped Mussel, this is a powerfully packed supplement doing amazing things for dogs in the U.S. and Australia.
Another treatment option your veterinarian may suggest is Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs). This class of treatment is most commonly used to control pain in more severe cases of arthritis. While NSAIDs can reduce pain and decrease inflammation, they also have significant side effects with prolonged use, especially in dogs with known liver and kidney issues.
Learn about these proven ingredients and other points that will make it clear: what makes us different?
Our Beagle Story
Have you ever noticed that if you have not seen someone in a few weeks, they seem to have changed? But when you see them every day, they look exactly the same? This is usually true for those closest to us like our children and our spouses.
For example, my son has always been tall and is now 16 years old and 6’2”. I’m used to him being tall so I haven’t noticed growth spurts until he puts on pants that must have shrunk in the laundry because they are now 2 inches too short. I miss how fast he's growing because I see him every day. But when relatives or friends haven’t seen him in a long time, they can’t believe how tall he is, as if he’s grown overnight.
It should be no surprise that it is also true when it comes to our fur-babies. They are a part of our family and we see them, talk to them, care for them and love them every day.
When we got our sweet beagle puppy, she was a welcome addition to our home. We had just lost my father unexpectedly and to cheer us all up, we decided to add a new puppy. She was so sweet and quickly she became an integral part of the family.
Then as time goes by, you just kind of expect things to go as they were and her role was to be at home while we ran around with the kids. We had a vacation coming up and we couldn't take her. But it was nothing new: she'd stay at the doggie hotel as we liked to call it.
It wasn’t until we returned from the vacation that I even noticed anything was different from my beloved beagle.
I was so excited to get away that I had not been paying as much attention to my sweet pooch. We were so excited to pick her up when we returned after the vacation. And of course, she was so happy to be back with us, giving us her happy dance once we arrived.
After the dust settled and we were back in our routines post-vacation, I noticed the beagle slept a lot more lately. I was thinking she didn’t get much rest in the doggie hotel or just played way too much. But after a few days, I felt that she was spending more time sleeping than playing. I thought maybe she picked up some sort of dog virus at the doggie hotel, so I took her to the vet.
Imagine my surprise when my vet told me they suspected my 5-year-old beagle was showing signs of osteoarthritis (OA) or arthritis in dogs. I didn’t believe my vet at first. We go running every morning, or we did. We just haven’t in awhile. Mostly because she wasn’t waking me up to take her running anymore. But that was due to the time change – it was darker in the morning this fall than in the summer. Or was that the reason for me, not necessarily for her?
I also rationalized that she was too young to have of arthritis – at only 5 years old, even doing the math at human years it’s only 35 years old – still young!
Then I learned that while 80% of dogs show signs of arthritis by age 8, some dogs show signs of arthritis as early as 1 year old.
As we discussed it further, I realized that my sweet dog had been dropping hints, I was just ignoring them. Here are some symptoms we had talked about that I had been seeing, and the ways I justified it to myself as acceptable, normal behavior:
- More sleeping than playing. If given the choice, I’d want to nap too!
- Slow to get up in the morning. It was cooler in the mornings; I was getting out of bed slower too.
- The kids would tell me she was grumpy when they were petting her. Kids, you were petting her too hard!
- Licking her feet a lot. That’s what dogs do to keep them clean.
Well, turns out these are all signs of arthritis. As I was becoming more accepting of the diagnosis, I went on to learn about what we could do to help.
Our Solution: Glyde Mobility Chews
We decided to start with a dietary supplement of Glyde Mobility Chews to help relieve the symptoms of arthritis. Unfortunately, there is no reversing the disease. But the good news is that just as it is in humans, arthritis signs can be treated.
I learned that Glyde Mobility Chews had a special formula with natural ingredients which would promote joint health and normal cartilage development.
I never knew joint health was something to be concerned about.
Well, it certainly is! Also important is the fact that Glyde has proven levels of glucosamine and chondroitin and that help maintain normal joint function. Glyde’s formula also contains New Zealand Green Lipped Mussel, the only natural source of ETA, a potent Omega-3 fatty acid, that helps relieve joint stiffness and while maintaining youthful mobility.
I now gave Glyde to my beloved beagle daily. It was funny how quickly I felt she reacted to it. Within a week, I already saw the difference. She was bringing me her toy to throw and she seemed happier. I felt that it was really working. We were starting to return to our regular schedule of morning runs. Mostly because I knew I needed to keep her active, just as I needed to keep active too. After some time on Glyde, and regular exercise, my adorable beagle was back to her old self.
Fast forward a few weeks and life kicked in and took over. We ran out. I had meant to go back to the vet clinic to purchase more. I found myself not being able to get there. I forgot about it until a few days were more like a few weeks.
One day, my running partner came to greet us at the door. She said, you know, your dog doesn’t seem as happy as she was and she’s not keeping up with us as much on our runs. Should we leave her behind today?
I was a bit offended. No, we aren't leaving her.
I brought her along and I noticed my friend was right. I got back in that mode of not seeing something which was right in front of me. The progress we made was beginning to fade because I let life get in the way. Lucky missed her Glyde, but I hadn't noticed it.
That night, I found Glyde Mobility Chews on-line. The good news is that I was able to order it there and it would be shipped to me, I wouldn’t have to go get it. Plus if I signed up for a subscription, I saved 10% on every month’s shipment. Shipping was free. My veterinary clinic receives part of the sale, even when I ordered Glyde on-line. This was all great news!
Now, we get Glyde delivered to our house on a regular basis.
I don’t have to worry about going into the vet clinic to pick it up. It comes to me! It’s been another month on Glyde and I can say that my sweet beagle is back to herself again. She will never be without because I don’t have to remember to go get it.
Thanks to Glyde Mobility Chews for bringing the puppy out of her again!