Often referred to as degenerative joint disease, osteoarthritis is common in overweight and older dogs. While there is no active cure, osteoarthritis treatment in dogs is best implemented if the issue is identified as early as possible. We’d like to share some helpful information that can ensure your dog’s health and initiate proper pain management.

What is Osteoarthritis?

According to Mayoclinic, Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It occurs when the protective cartilage that cushions the ends of your bones wears down. The most commonly affected joints are those in the hands, knees, hips and spine.

How Do Dogs Get Osteoarthritis?

While the causes of canine osteoarthritis have not been established, the most common correlation appears to be developmental orthopedic diseases, such as hip and elbow dysplasia. These are influenced by genetic and environmental factors.

Signs of Osteoarthritis In Dogs

You might not notice any signs or symptoms initially. However, as osteoarthritis progresses, signs may include:

  • Stiffness, lameness, limping, or difficulty getting up
  • Lethargy
  • Reluctance to run, jump, or play
  • Weight gain
  • Irritability or changes in behavior
  • Pain when petted or touched
  • Difficulty posturing to urinate or defecate, or having accidents in the house
  • Loss of muscle mass over the limbs and spine

If you observe any of these signs of osteoarthritis, you should bring your dog to the vet right away for a full physical examination. Your dog may possibly need x-rays to rule out similar conditions.

Treating Osteoarthritis in Dogs

Risk factors for osteoarthritis include breed, obesity, age, stress, injuries, infection, malnutrition, poor conformation, and genetics. Osteoarthritis treatment in dogs can range from medication to dietary changes. These preventative measures allow your dog to live as leisurely as possible.

PRP Therapy

Platelet Rich Plasma is a natural treatment for canine osteoarthritis. Derived from your dog’s blood, a rapid spinning process is implemented to activate and release growth factors that promote healing into the arthritic joint.

Joint Supplements

These over-the-counter supplements improve overall functioning. Safe and tested, pets rarely experience side effects from the medication.


Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs are often prescribed to dogs with osteoarthritis to reduce pain, inflammation, and lameness.

Weight Management

Weight loss will put less pressure on the joints which reduces pain.

Schedule a Wellness Exam Today

At Anasazi Animal Clinic in Gilbert, we will treat your beloved dog with the same intentional care we give our own animals. Treating osteoarthritis in dogs is one of our areas of expertise.  If your dog is in pain from arthritis, contact us right away. We are committed to ensuring the health and happiness of all pets throughout their later years.

Image used under creative commons license – commercial use (4/5/2021) Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash