Common Causes of Joint Pain and Issues in Dogs

The difference between degenerative and developmental joint issues in dogs and how to support them.

Typically, pet owners will recognize joint pain developing in their dogs when they are in their senior years but occasionally pain can be seen in young or adult dogs; regardless of age and breed. The most recognized symptom of joint pain is when pets start “slowing down.” Not recognizing your pet has joint pain can often lead to more serious injuries or conditions as well.

There are two varieties of joint issues that can be causing your dog pain: degenerative joint pain and developmental joint pain. 

Developmental Joint Issues

Developmental joint issues are present in pet’s from their birth, and are generally caused by genetic issues causing your puppy's joints to not develop correctly. Conditions like elbow or hip dysplasia are examples of more serious injuries this could lead to down the line, and may require bracing like the Balto Lux or the Balto Life for additional support.

Frequently, these developmental issues are common in larger dogs breeds since they are predisposed a variety of joint issues that will cause them pain. For example, Rottweilers are prone to developing knee and ankle joint problems, Bernese Mountain Dogs commonly develop elbow dysplasia and Newfoundlands are one of the breeds that are most prone to developing issues in their cruciate ligament. Fortunately for CCL injuries, there are corrective surgeries that your pet can undergo, but may also need additional support from a brace that can be found in the Balto Jump.

Degenerative Joint Issues

Degenerative joint issues are caused by repeated use over time of your dog's joints, which includes the wearing down of cartilage or the injury of their tendons. The most common of these kinds of joint issues is cruciate ligament problems, where their tissues degenerate over time and with repeated use until more severe problems and pain develop as a result.

The root cause of degenerative joint issues can vary, ranging from stress fractures to injuries and osteoarthritis. But often, they will develop in larger or overweight dogs since their weight places more stress on their joints over time.

Symptoms of Joint Pain in Dogs

It can be hard to tell whether your dog is suffering from joint pain. Dogs can often be difficult to read; especially when they are young, they will also often continue to enthusiastically play and risking further injury.

Some common symptoms of joint pain to look for in your pet:

  • Lethargy
  • Limping and stiffness
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Frequent slipping while moving about
  • Licking, chewing or biting the affected area

If you notice any of these behaviors in your dog without an obvious cause, it might be time to take them to your vet for treatment.