Why Do German Shepherds Get Arthritis?

Why Do German Shepherds Get Arthritis? Just the same as us, dogs are not immune to the pains of arthritis. Dogs have a very similar makeup as far as muscle and tissue structure goes in their joint areas, so arthritis can often happen to them just the same as it can with a human.

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And here's something that you may not be aware of to make this point even more important: arthritis is really very common in dogs - so much so in fact that many dog experts claim that up to 70% of dogs over the age of 7 have some form of arthritis. And many German Shepherds get arthritis all the time.

First of all, do you know how to tell if your German Shepherd may have arthritis? As a result of arthritis, dogs can often develop limping and other problems when the pain of arthritis strikes them. There are many other symptoms - a few of them may include the following:

  • slow, stiff, or awkward or irregular movements;
  • difficulty jumping into the car or climbing up stairs;
  • you notice that your GSD always lays on one side only; your dog might whimper or cry out if you happen to touch it's joints;
  • your dog might suddenly come up lame;
  • your GSD has less energy - possibly sleeps more and may even act withdrawn;
  • your dog gets up very slowly after is has laid down;
  • when it walks it's back is in a crunched or hunched up position;
  • swelling around joint tissues;
  • it is obviously in pain whenever you touch any affected joint;
  • an obvious crunching occurs whenever the joint is flexed
  • and last but not least, your notice changes in your dog and you possibly think that it is just an age related issue.

Other causes of arthritis in dogs may be as a result of various kinds of injuries or accidents. For example, whenever some sort of injury happens to one of their limbs, some underlying damage can happen to the muscles or tissues surrounding their joints which may causing undue stress and lead to arthritis later on.

Other possibilities that happen may include some kind of joint misplacement as a result of an injury or accident. Anything like this can cause stress to the joint area and any kind of bone rubbing on bone will be the major cause that your German Shepherds get arthritis later on in life.

Another issue that many people take for granted is that poor nutrition can eventually lead to their dogs having arthritic problems in their senior years. Dogs, just as with humans, need a well-balanced diet that includes all the proper amounts of nutrients and minerals to keep their bones, tissues and muscles strong and healthy.

Following along that train of thought, prolonged poor nutrition for any animal will eventually cause their bones and muscles to get weaker and weaker - they may even start to degenerate due to the poor diet, causing eventual inflammation in their joints which will lead to arthritis.

German Shepherds are active animals. They may have bursts of energy and this is healthy for them, but they also need the proper amounts of rest to keep their muscles healthy too. Too much physical activity for any animal, without the proper balance of rest can be another potential cause of arthritis. Overworking of the muscles over extended periods of time can cause strain on the joints and if your dogs don't receive the proper amount of rest, then this too could eventually lead to arthritis.

It is very important that you provide your German Shepherd with proper veterinary care. Whatever you can do to alleviate some of the symptoms your dog may encounter will help to lessen the pain brought on by their bouts of arthritis. Sometimes it may simply be old age itself that is causing your Alsatians arthritis but still if you manage to maintain an active, robust, but slower lifestyle, ailments common to older dogs may will set in but will not completely stop your dog as long as he is used to a more active lifestyle.

Old age may have slowed your dog down - maybe he's just not as active as he once was but that doesn't mean that you have to stop activities with your dog all together. Many older German Shepherds get arthritis and tend to rest, but keep in mind that too much rest may cause their muscles to stiffen up. So, why not try keeping your arthritic German Shepherd a little more active to lessen the effects that arthritis can have on them - just remember not to overdo it.

There are many supplements that I can recommend to you that are much safer that you might want to try such as: Glucosamine , Chondroitin Sulfate and MSM. The good thing about these supplements is that they are backed up by millions of client testimonials and scientific studies to back up their claims. Benefits of these supplements include increasing the amount of cartilage and anti-inflammatory properties.

Maybe you're wondering about some of the things you can give your dog to treat arthritis. There are many medications on the market that your vet may suggest you give your dog to treat this but please, do yourself a favor and make sure you are totally aware of all of the potential side effects of that particular drug before you give it to you dog since many are particularly hard on the liver, etc.

As dog owners we often may wonder exactly what causes the arthritis to happen in the first place? Yes, German Shepherds get arthritis and there are many reasons for it - let's take a moment to discuss a few of the reasons German Shepherds get arthritis. One of the first and biggest causes for arthritis in dogs in the first place is because of a weight problem.

Excess weight is really bad for our German Shepherds and can cause many stress related issues on their joints and if it continues, it can easily lead to arthritis later on. It's true that German Shepherds get arthritis but if you can manage to keep your GSD at a healthy weight throughout its life, you can also decrease their chances for developing arthritis later on.

In many ways arthritis might even be inevitable for your GSD, but if you keep them comfortable by providing them the proper treatments prescribed by the veterinarian, maintain as active a lifestyle as possible and keep their weight down, and maybe even giving them a nice therapeutic massage from time to time then they can easily live out their last years in complete happiness. Yes, German Shepherds get arthritis, but this is very treatable.

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"Our dogs wil love and admire the meanest of us, and feed our colossal vanity with their uncritical homage." -- Agnes Replier

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Thank you for this web site. Very informative and well written. I often advise my shepherd people to visit here for information. Again GREAT JOB.
Laura Page Warden

What a fabulous website!!! I really enjoyed reading about the history of the dogs. There is a ton of helpful information on here and defiantly something for every reader to enjoy!!!
Misty Weaver

Recently got a GSD again. Last time had GSD no internet etc. Cant believe how much info for free. Kenneth

I love and appreciate the helpful advice I found on your website!