What is rheumatism in dogs?
Rheumatism in dogs is a disease that is usually mistaken for arthritis. It is a degenerative disease that affects the joints and surrounding cartilage. Being a degenerative condition, it is progressive and will only worsen, even with medical treatment. It gets to a point where the pain keeps the dog from walking.
What causes rheumatism in dogs?
Although the disease is usually only associated with older dogs, it can also affect young dogs. However, middle-aged and elderly dogs are the most susceptible. Likewise, hybrid dogs are genetically predisposed, those that have suffered a trauma, and even dogs that are kept outside since climate is thought to be a factor.
Young dogs can get rheumatism as a consequence of injury, infection, or hip dysplasia.
What are the symptoms of rheumatism in dogs?
The signs of rheumatism in dogs are very similar to those of arthritis. The most common are swelling, stiffness in joints, and pain. Normally, the joints feel warm to touch. Gradually, your dog will have more difficulty to move, climb stairs, and walk. As a way for pain relief, dogs with rheumatism seek cold surfaces to rest and have some relief.
What should I do if my dog suffers from rheumatism?
If you see that your dog has difficulty walking or no longer makes the same physical efforts he used to, you can take measures to reduce his pain and improve his lifestyle. Rheumatism in dogs is incurable. Take him to the vet so he can verify, through several exams and revision, how widespread rheumatism in your dog is.
The veterinarian will prescribe pain pills or aspirin. It will be necessary to provide supplements to improve joints health. This will improve his performance and will allow him to move freely. Consider that he will need to be taking these supplements for the rest of his life or you risk him suffering a recurrence.