Pet Education

Browse our veterinary-reviewed Dog and Cat Illness Guide to learn more about pet health. Always talk to your veterinarian if you have a concern about your pet's symptoms or health.
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Canine Arthritis

Arthritis is a condition where one or more joints become swollen or inflamed. It can affect the hips, elbows, knees, and neck.

There are two types of arthritis:

  1. Primary - Rheumatoid Arthritis: is a progressive and uncommon disease where the immune system attacks healthy joints.
  2. Secondary - Osteoarthritis: the cartilage around a joint gets damaged, so new bone forms around the joint. This has no cartilage protecting it and causes stiffness and pain.


While arthritis normally affects older dogs and worsens with age, dogs of any age can have it.





To properly diagnose your dog with arthritis, your veterinarian will begin with the following:

Your veterinarian may also perform the following tests:


The course of treatment depends mainly on what is causing the disease.

If treatments are not helping the pain:


There is no known prevention.


There is no cure for arthritis, but your veterinarian can give you treatment options so your dog can live a comfortable life. You should pay attention to your dog's movements, as catching arthritis early leaves more options for your dog to live comfortably.

Medically Reviewed by Sara Ochoa, DVM

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