Dr. Brian Beale, a veterinary surgeon and canine arthritis expert at Houston’s Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists, says that obese dogs can develop arthritis sooner than lean dogs. An estimated 15 million U.S. dogs are considered overweight, and they comprise the largest group of dogs at risk for canine arthritis. And, although genetic predisposition and hormonal disorders can also cause obesity, overfeeding is still the major culprit.
Excessive weight restricts joint movement, decreases mobility and can cause other physical problems. Those associated problems only add to the difficulties posed by the arthritic condition. Excess weight also damages the cartilage matrix itself, and also alters normal cell structures in joint tissue itself.
Signs of arthritis are subtle and easily overlooked or misinterpreted. Symptoms of pain may include limping, difficulty moving, walking, running, climbing or jumping, and sensitivity to physical contact. If you see these signs, take your pet to a veterinarian where a proper diagnosis can be made. Treatment options may include diet, exercise and pain control medication.
“Pet Obesity and Arthritis.” Chances Spot. N.p., 22 July 2016. Web. 24 Aug. 2016. <http://chancesspot.org/blog/?p=161>.