Note: The terms “Osteoarthritis” and “Degenerative Joint Disease” are commonly used to describe the same disorder.
OA is not a disease in and of itself, but is a degenerative condition caused by other joint problems. Two types of problems are commonly associated with OA: Trauma (abnormal force on a normal joint) or Congenital (normal force on an abnormal joint).
If a joint is damaged or is improperly constructed, changes will occur to the cartilage and cause pain when the joint moves. The increase in pain causes the dog to be less tolerant to exercise which, in turn, causes the surrounding muscle to atrophy and increases stress on an already painful joint. The dog limps, shows reluctance to jump up, or go up and down stairs, prefers to lie down rather than sit or stand, and may also show changes in behaviour or temperament.
Note: This section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website is intended as a source of information only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional care. Always consult with your Veterinarian about health related matters.