Degenerative Joint Disease

Degenerative joint disease is a condition that can affect dogs of any breed, but it’s most common in large breeds with long backs and short legs, like dachshunds, corgis, and basset hounds. It typically affects middle-aged dogs, but it can also occur in younger animals.

Degenerative joint disease is caused by cartilage loss in the joints. Cartilage is what cushions your bones and allows them to move freely so you can bend your arms and legs without experiencing pain or discomfort. But as you age, your cartilage wears away, which causes stiffness and pain in your joints.

The most common sign that your dog has degenerative joint disease is lameness while walking or running—they might favor one foot or be reluctant to move at all. You may also see swelling or discomfort around the affected joints when you touch them gently with your hand.

If you notice these symptoms in your dog, it’s important to visit your vet right away so they can help rule out other causes for lameness (like an injury) before determining if this is what’s going on!

Helping a Dog with Degenerative Joint Disease

Here are some of our favorite ways to help your dog:

  • Increase their mobility by gently massaging their joints and stretching them out before you start walking or playing with them.
  • Add whole, oily fishes to their bowl. These will help keep the cartilage healthy and strong, which will decrease the pain associated with degenerative joint disease.
  • Get plenty of exercise and playtime outside! Walking will help strengthen your dog’s muscles while also keeping them active and happy during the day.

Published by AmberLDrake

Dr. Drake is an award-winning author and well-known cancer specialist in her field. She is best known for her extensive research on canine cancer prevention and nutrition, her dedication to help dogs live a long, happy life, and for teaching veterinary medicine. As the CEO of Canine Companions Co., the Founder of Drake Dog Cancer Foundation and Academy, and the Co-Founder of Preferable Pups, in addition to being a respected figure in the dog world, she has earned the respect of thousands of dog lovers worldwide.