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Understanding the Underlying Causes of Joint Pain in Dogs

As our dogs age, they may face various health challenges, with joint issues being among the most prevalent and concerning. Understanding the underlying causes of joint pain in dogs is important because we need to know how to treat the cause of their pain.

Joint problems can affect dogs of all breeds and sizes, leading to discomfort, limited mobility, and a diminished quality of life. Just like humans, dogs' joints can suffer from wear and tear over time, leading to conditions like arthritis, hip dysplasia, and ligament injuries.

Understanding the most common joint issues that affect dogs is crucial for pet owners, as early detection and appropriate management can significantly improve the comfort and well-being of our furry friends. In this blog, we will explore the key joint problems faced by dogs, their causes and symptoms.

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Joint issues are relatively common in dogs, especially as they age. Some of the most common joint problems experienced by dogs include:

Discover practical ways to help your dog's joint pain here Natural joint supplements for dogs.


This is the most prevalent joint issue in dogs. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that results from the gradual breakdown of cartilage in the joints. It causes pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a genetic condition where the hip joint doesn't develop properly, leading to joint instability. Over time, it can result in arthritis and difficulty walking.

Elbow Dysplasia

Like hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia is a genetic disorder that affects the elbow joint. It involves different abnormalities that cause the joint to function improperly and can lead to arthritis.

Just like humans, dogs' joints can suffer from wear and tear over time, leading to conditions like arthritis, hip dysplasia, and ligament injuries

Cruciate Ligament Injuries

Dogs can suffer from torn or ruptured cruciate ligaments (anterior or posterior) in their knees, which can be extremely painful and limit their mobility.

Patellar Luxation

This condition occurs when the kneecap (patella) dislocates or moves out of its normal position, causing pain and difficulty in movement.

Osteochondritis Dissecans (OCD)

OCD is a developmental disorder that affects the cartilage and bone in the joints, often seen in large and giant breeds. It can lead to joint pain and lameness.

Degenerative Myelopathy

Although not strictly a joint issue, this progressive neurological condition affects the spinal cord and can lead to weakness and difficulties with coordination and movement.

Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD)

Another condition affecting the spine, IVDD occurs when the discs between the vertebrae degenerate or herniate, potentially leading to pain and mobility issues.

Supplements can play a vital role in supporting your dog's joint health by providing essential nutrients that promote cartilage strength, reduce inflammation, and support overall joint function

PetWell MOBILITY Hip and Joint Supplement and Treats for Cats and Dogs


Commonly seen in large, rapidly growing dog breeds, panosteitis is a self-limiting condition that causes inflammation and pain in the long bones, often in the legs.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

A less common immune-mediated joint disease that can cause chronic inflammation and damage to the joints.

In Summary

It's essential for dog owners to be aware of these joint issues and watch for any signs of discomfort or mobility problems in their pets.

Regular check-ups with a veterinarian and maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine can help prevent or manage some of these joint problems.

Read more on Recognising the Symptoms of Joint Pain in Your Dog

Disclaimer: The entire contents of this email and website are not to be taken as medical advice. The team at Pet Squad Pty Ltd trading as PetWell encourages you to make your own pet healthcare decisions based on your research and in partnership with a qualified pet healthcare professional.

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