Canine Arthritis | Arthritis in Dogs

Canine Arthritis | Arthritis in Dogs
A disorder resembling human arthritis rarely results in erosive polyarthritis and progressive joint destruction in dogs. Small and toy breeds are most commonly affected by dog arthritis. The age of onset is variable (9 months to 13 years), but most affected dogs are young or middle-aged. Initially, dog arthritis is indistinguishable from idiopathic nonerosive polyarthritis, but the joints are destroyed over time, with distal joints most severely affected.

Arthritis in dogs may result when a triggering event or inciting antigen initiates an immune reaction against endogenous antigens, causing immune complexes to form. Immune complexes are deposited in the synovium, resulting in complement activation, the chemotactic attraction of inflammatory cells, the intraarticular release of cytokines, synovial cell proliferation, and progressive, severe, erosive inflammatory joint disease.

Granulation tissue arises from the inflamed synovium and extends across the joint underneath the articular cartilage. This vascular granulation tissue (e.g., pannus) begins to erode cartilage, and joint swelling and periarticular inflammation cause the joint capsule to stretch and collateral ligaments to rupture. Early treatment of arthritis in dogs is important to prevent irreversible changes and progressive disease.

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