Canine osteoarthritis: which dogs are at risk?
Our dogs’ health is a priority more than ever before. They receive better treatment and medical care, are fed better, and their life expectancy is increasing, fortunately! Despite this, some dogs may still fall prone to chronic conditions such as osteoarthritis, affecting 1 in 5 dogs. Not all dogs are equal when it comes to this disease. In fact, while osteoarthritis is most often apparent in older dogs, it can also affect younger dogs, as well as active dogs or those with genetic abnormalities.
What is canine osteoarthritis?
Canine osteoarthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease characterized by the gradual and irreversible damage to a dog’s joint cartilage. Osteoarthritis can have a highly debilitating impact on a dog’s daily activities and can cause various symptoms including chronic pain, limping, and stiffness. While often occurring in older dogs (primary osteoarthritis), the disease can also develop in younger dogs that have suffered joint injuries or those with congenital defects such as hip dysplasia (secondary osteoarthritis). Nowadays, numerous treatments exist which can help relieve pets suffering from persistent pain.
Which dogs are most at risk?
Most dogs will suffer from osteoarthritis at some point in their lives since it is linked to the normal aging process of the joints. The disease is generally diagnosed in smaller dogs aged 8 to 9 years and older, and in larger breeds aged 6 to 7 years and older. However, some breeds are more at risk than others and may show abnormal wear and tear of the joint cartilage, including:
- large dogs: Golden retriever, Bernese Mountain dog, Newfoundland, St. Bernard, etc.
- breeds prone to dysplasia: German shepherd, Labrador, Rottweiler, etc.
- breeds with extreme features: French bulldog, Pug, Cavalier King Charles spaniel, Cocker spaniel, etc.
Osteoarthritis can also occur in dogs that have suffered from bone or joint injuries (fracture, sprain) or bone or joint diseases (chronic inflammatory diseases). Some external factors such as rapid growth, poor diet, being overweight, or overexercising can also lead to joint problems and cause osteoarthritis.
How to prevent osteoarthritis in dogs
Canine osteoarthritis is not a death sentence! This disease can be prevented by providing a healthy lifestyle to help maintain joint mobility at an early age. A special diet, food supplements, chondroprotectors, and body care help keep joints in good condition and slow down their deterioration.
Regular, moderate physical activity is also highly recommended. Firstly, to improve muscle tone and flexibility. Secondly, to spend an enjoyable moment together and strengthen your bond with your pet.
Which solutions can relieve joint pain in your dog?
While it isn’t possible to really cure osteoarthritis in dogs, various treatments exist that can help reduce or alleviate pain. Firstly, medical care based on painkillers and anti-inflammatories. These act on symptoms and help relieve and limit pain caused by acute inflammatory flare-ups.
When medication alone fails to treat the disease, or when it is poorly tolerated, particularly among older dogs, alternative medicine may be considered as a backup solution. Hydrotherapy, physiotherapy, osteopathy, as well as dog massages, acupuncture, and herbal medicine are complementary approaches that all provide many benefits, both in terms of preventing and managing symptoms and side effects.
Finally, aromatherapy, a therapeutic method using essential oils which provides an alternative, natural and effective solution. Used alongside medical treatment, essential oils with analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and relaxing properties are an invaluable solution to help alleviate joint pain.
This is the innovation behind the YOOS collar. Its soothing effect alleviates joint pain, particularly in older dogs. Infused with a unique blend of essential oils with beneficial properties for joints, the YOOS collar targets your pet’s joint pain. The essential oils are released on painful joint areas on a regular, gradual basis to help your pet enjoy playing with you once again! Easy to use and compatible with chondroprotectors, it works over 4 weeks, with visible effects from day 3.