Rheumatoid arthritis in dogs is a disease whose root cause is as same as to that of human beings that is caused due to improper functioning of the immune system of the dogs. In normal dogs their immune system is helpful to the proteins of their body but when its immune system doesn’t work properly, it tends to release excess amount of antibodies that attacks the proteins present in the dog’s body. Immune meditated is the term used to this condition. In this condition the dog’s body still continues to release protein and antibodies. This extra protein and antibodies gets coagulate in the several joints of the dog and causes pain and inflammation to it. Thus this condition is known as rheumatoid arthritis in dogs.
Signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis in dogs
Though some signs and symptoms can be seen in dogs at any time but is prevalent in them in their twilight times. Some symptoms may include decrease in dogs appetite, swelling in the limbs especially in the hind limbs, mild fever that makes them inactive, lameness that occurs due to erosion that takes place in their bones, swelling in the joints which makes them lament every time, they can’t even sit or stand properly. If these symptoms not diagnosed or treated properly, it may lead to lameness of the dog. This happens in rare case and in most cases only one side of the limbs is affected especially the hind limbs.
Diagnosing of rheumatoid arthritis in dogs
Diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis can be done through several blood tests like rheumatoid factor, C reactive protein, Tumor necrosis factor, etc. But in dogs the rheumatoid factor shows the increase of antibodies in its immune system. This test is not reliable according to some veterinarians because some dogs show this test positive although they are not affected rheumatoid arthritis. They believe X-rays are the best reliable diagnosing condition to believe. The erosion of bones and the present status of the joints can be permanently observed through an X-rays.
Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis in dogs
Rheumatoid arthritis is incurable in nature. But it does not mean that it should be left alone. Early diagnosing and having proper treatment can rather slow the further progression and erosion of the joints and the muscles. Several drugs and steroids are available in the market in order to decrease the pain and swelling of the joints for a dog having rheumatoid arthritis. The conventional medicines includes anti inflammatory drugs and disease modifying drugs along with some steroids. The only problem that relies on the fact, it has several side effects and each and every dog reacts differently to this medications. Rheumatoid arthritis in dogs may also be caused due to overweight. So it is advised to the owner of the dogs to take proper care of their dog’s diet as they add some stress in the mind of the dogs and they behave differently which is unexpected by the owner of the dog.