Rheumatism in dogs does exist and although it is in most cases confused with arthritis, it is actually much broader.
This extremely painful condition in your dog is still very real, as it can and does affect more than just the joints and the connective tissues of your pet.
But like arthritis, it does affect the hind quarters most often as well as the legs, the hips, and the hocks, but it does not end there.
It is most often seen in older dogs, mixed breeds, and dogs that are kept outside as the weather is believed to play a major role in the very painful condition that is not actually a disease.
Rheumatism in dogs is no longer used in most medical or technical literature but is still used in everyday language as well as most historical texts.
It is best described as a number of disorders that cause pain in the muscles of your dog’s bones, joints or their nerves.
It is commonly called arthritis, but it is much broader as it also includes bursitis, neuritis, as well as gout.
There are four basic recognized forms of Rheumatism that can affect your dog; localized, regional, generalized, and psychogenic.
The first form, localized, almost always results in what is referred to as bursitis.
Bursitis is a very painful inflammation of your dog’s bursa.
This is a pad like sac that is found in their body where the most amount of friction, occurs.
This sac cushions the movement between their bones, tendons, and muscles near the joints.
Regional rheumatism in dogs is joint pain, or arthritis, that causes stiffness and inflammation.
Generalized rheumatism is categorized as fibromyalgia which is a different set of inflammation problems that affects your pet.
These set of inflammations affect the fibrous or the connective tissues in their body and cause muscle pain, fatigue, as well as multiple tender points throughout the body.
Psychogenic rheumatism, a common type of rheumatism in people, is also believed to exist in dogs.
It is a condition where the muscle or joint pain is not consistent with the actual physiology but there is still an apparent amount of pain that is very real to your dog.
However, rheumatism in dogs is still broader in scope, as it can also affect their internal organs such as their heart, skin, kidneys, as well as their lungs.
It is not a single disease or a condition ,as there are literally over 100 different forms of this very painful set of conditions that is affecting your dog; and to them it is very, very real.
Contrary to a lot of misconception and almost and unwillingness to discuss rheumatism, especially in dogs or cats, there are still some very distinctive symptoms that you can watch for even if the medical community does not discuss it.
Damage that is done to your dog’s joints will often result in weakness of those joints and as a result cause both instability as well as some very visible deformities if you know and understand what to watch for.
It is very natural as your dog ages for their joints to start to degenerate, but it is not always from arthritis; it may also be the result of rheumatism.
The most distinctive symptoms that you can watch in rheumatism in dogs are when they start to exhibit a weakness or pain, is inflammation of the joints or the areas that surround them.
This inflammation will become reddish in color, will be very warm when you touch it, and it will also be swollen.
However, the final sign that your dog may have rheumatism is that when you touch this inflamed area, it will be extremely tender and sensitive for your dog.
The main difference between arthritis and rheumatism in dogs, however, will be the fatigue that you can easily see in your dog. This may be a gradual buildup, or it can happen very rapidly.
In either case, your dog will also have a lot of difficulty in sleeping as well.
Weather with also play a role in the symptoms much like it does with arthritis, especially if your dog lives outdoors.
Barometric pressure will have the largest impact on them and it brings both arthritis as well as all forms of rheumatic pain into a full fury.
Low barometric pressure that causes cold and damp weather will in increase the pain; and clear dry weather will help to reduce the pain.
Rheumatism in dogs has both conventional as well as natural treatments that will help to ease the pain in your pet.
Anti-inflammatory drugs can be used to help to stop the inflammation in the short term.
The most common is Carpofen which is marketed as Rimadyl.
This is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug that most veterinarians use for geriatric dogs as well as for arthritis and rheumatism.
In the United States it is available in 25, 75, and 100 mg tablets as well as injectable forms. In the UK it is available in 20, 50, and 100 mg. tablets.
In the tablet form, it is given with food or directly into your dog’s mouth.
Most dogs will respond well to this antibiotic, however, it has caused both liver and kidney damage and in some cases it has caused sudden death to occur.
There is now a warning posted by the manufacture that a sudden death may occur. With this in mind, there is a much safer alternative in the form of natural medication.
Devils Claw is an extremely powerful and all natural anti-inflammatory medication that has been used worldwide for hundreds of years for joint disease, arthritis, as well as rheumatism.
It is an African plant that looks like a giant claw and is collected at the end of the rainy season.
The recommended usage is one tablespoon daily in your dog’s food if given in power form for large dogs over 50 pounds, and one half teaspoon for dogs less than 50 pounds.
You should still consult with your veterinarian about the amounts as well as the usage, but is has over its long history only had two side effects ever noted.
There has been a slight allergic reaction in some dogs as well as some gastrointestinal effects which is generally moderate diarrhea or gas.
Rheumatism in dogs is still very real and very painful.
Once the inflammation is identified, you can also use hot water bottle treatments for the swelling and redness, as well as Devils claw to help ease your dog’s pain.
However, you might want to think long and hard before using the antibiotic as it has caused the sudden death of some dogs.