Aging dog health is a concern among pet owners and veterinarians. Dogs, like people, are living longer lives due to advances in medical care and better availability of resources to keep them in peak condition. Thus, dogs are facing many of the same challenges that aging people do. Of particular concern to many dog owners is the specter of arthritis, a joint disease that often starts to afflict dogs in middle age.
Joint Disease And Aging Dog Health
Arthritis is a degenerative disease that tends to get worse if left untreated. Its main cause is a breakdown in cartilage, the spongy tissue that cushions the joint bones. As dogs age, their bodies lose the ability to rebuild and maintain healthy cartilage due to stresses from the environment and their own metabolic processes.
When a dog’s body can no longer produce enough cartilage to cushion the bones, the dog start to experience stiffness and pain. This is due to the fact that bones are starting to rub together and excess fluid is accumulating in response to the loss of cartilage. The result is swelling at the joints that causes loss of mobility. The difficulty in getting around, and the resulting lowered quality of life, is one of the factors that make arthritis a major issue in the field of aging dog health.
Arthritis is something that every dog owner should be concerned about. The good news for pet owners is that there are many exciting new options for treating arthritis in dogs. Early treatment can give a dog many years of pain-free movement and a better quality of life. Being proactive in tackling the issues relating to aging dog health can prevent many future problems.