Arthritis in older dogs is a very common problem. In fact, research indicates that 60% of dogs over the age of 7 are likely to develop arthritic symptoms as they continue to age. There are numerous types of arthritis that can affect dogs, but the most common is osteoarthritis—also known as degenerative joint disease. This condition can affect up to one out of five adult dogs.
Aging is a definite contributor to the development of osteoarthritis, but there are other factors as well, such as old injuries, metabolic disorders, like diabetes, and obesity. As dogs age, the cartilage in their joints begins to thin. This cartilage serves to cushion and protect the bones in the joint, and if it thins too much, the bones can rub against each other and break down. The resulting friction causes pain and loss of mobility. Any joint in your dog’s body can be affected by arthritis, but the most common locations are the hips, elbows, knees, wrists, shoulders, ankles, and lower back.
Why do horses have the stamina to run for extended periods? Horses can accommodate great oxygen demands with a specialized circulatory and respiratory system. This means they can provide the oxygen their muscles need during exercise. While the respiratory system transports oxygen, the equine circulatory system is a bit more complex.