Arthritis, back problems in older dogs: Treatment is available

One of the results of improved pet care is seeing our pets live to very ripe old ages.

The aging of a pet brings with it health challenges. One such challenge is the arthritis and back ailments of the older dog. A dog experiencing back pain often acts stiff and will avoid walking. In many of these cases, the pet has not experienced any specific incident that would have been the cause of the injury.

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The backbone is a flexible structure of bony vertebrae lined up with little disc cushions between them that allow the back to flex. These discs are normally soft and mucoid.

With aging comes disc degeneration. The disc can fibrosis and harden, making it susceptible to rupture. When the rupture occurs, it puts pressure on the spinal cord and the main nerve branches that lead off the spinal cord.

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