Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms in Dogs

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Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis in dogs include stiffness, fevers, joint paint or joint swelling. Find out how to manage rheumatoid arthritis with steroidal medications with help from a staff veterinarian in this free video on dog health and pet care.

Part of the Video Series: Dog & Cat Diseases
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Video Transcript

Let's talk about rheumatoid arthritis in dogs. And rheumatoid arthritis is something that we don't discuss as much or you don't hear as much as you would in people. That is an autoimmune or immune mediated type of arthritis meaning that the body is attacking its own cartilages or cells in those joints and creating chronic inflammation. That chronic inflammation changes the structure and basically the surface of cartilage causing arthritis. And so in animals we see lots of arthritis, especially in dogs and especially in larger dogs. Those guys typically get arthritis because they have been runners and jumpers all their lives and they've chronically stimulated or irritated those joints or traumatized those joints. Now rheumatoid arthritis can be caused by infections, by tick borne diseases or just by autoimmune reactions and that is the body just turns itself on toward its own, attacking its own joints. So what you may see in those dogs is stiffness, fevers sometimes, joint pain or joint swelling. These dogs can withdraw they will also not want to eat very well and just want to lay about a lot. And so these types of arthritis issues can be manages by steroid medications or steroidal medications. These are anti-inflammatories that can sometimes get the body to get reacting so much or at least decrease the inflammation at the cell level and also these can be analgesics and decrease pain but always check with your veterinarian clinic first before giving anything and make sure that if you suspect an arthritic problem that you get a diagnosis first.

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