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Overweight and aging dogs are at risk for developing a joint disease called t is important to keep your dog’s joints in mind from puppyhood. Over the dog’s lifespan the joint cartilage can start to deteriorate and cartilage is unable to keep water, causes little to no lubrication between the joints.

When the joint cartilage stops holding water the body tries to produce extra fluid which will create swelling in the joints.

As the joints are deteriorating the friction of the joints cause small fractures on the bones. When the bone grows and moves it will result in bone spurs and they eventually stretch out the joint and cause pain. There are ways to maintain your dog’s joint health through their life so they can avoid this painful condition.

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What are the two Categories of Joint Problems?

Joint problems have become such a common occurrence that they have been put in two main categories; degenerative and developmental. A developmental joint problem would be something like elbow or hip Dysplasia. These are diseases where the joint does not develop correctly, resulting in pain and arthritis. Degenerative problems are similar to the example above: Osteoarthritis.

There is no way to cure a degenerative disorder, these are genetic. The only way to ensure your dog does not have this disorder is by testing the parents before breeding. Joint problems that are developmental cannot be cured either, but it can be controlled and delayed with proper joint care.

The Importance of Prevention:

Joint problems and pain is one of the most crippling problems that dogs face. The more that you can do with your puppy the more you can help your dog in the long run. For example, keeping your dog at a healthy weight, avoiding injury, and making sure your dog gets exercise will give them a better chance of avoiding joint problems as they age.

Once your dog has started to develop joint disease it cannot be reversed, but it can be helped. These are the best way to help prevent joint disease.

Prevent Joint Injury: Arthritis can develop earlier in life if there is an injury at a young age. Injury can happen from too much exercise, jumping too high/falling, running before the joints have matured, and giving a puppy too much exercise at a young age. If your dog does become injured at some point in time always make sure to take them to the vet and follow up with any extra care they may need.

Make Accommodations: Make your pets lives easier by accommodating for their size and abilities. If you have a small dog it might be difficult for them to jump on and off the couch and bed. You can accommodate for this by getting doggy stairs or a ramp. Doing these things will help keep your pets joints in better condition.

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Cathy D. Evans
Life-long fan of all dogs including Finnegan pictured here. He's a Chinook about a year old with the most wonderful personality. Please enjoy this dog website and its content. “Dogs don’t rationalize. They don’t hold anything against a person. They don’t see the outside of a human but the inside of a human.” —Cesar Millan (dog trainer)

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