Huskies are some of the healthiest dog breeds in the world. That’s not a surprise, considering they come from a long line of active dogs who traveled all day long and developed good endurance and stamina. Their metabolism is also rather excellent, allowing them to run for literally hours at a time without getting too tired. But with this much physical activity, we have to wonder — do Huskies suffer from arthritis?
Unfortunately, Huskies not only suffer from arthritis, but they’re also more prone to getting this joint disease. In this article, we’ll learn more about arthritis in Huskies, what the symptoms are, and what you can do to prevent it.
Do Huskies suffer from Arthritis?
Since Huskies are endowed with fast-paced metabolism, high endurance, and muscular physiques, they are natural-born runners who are able to cover long distances over extended periods of time.
Sadly, these excellent traits come at a price. Huskies are at an exceptionally high risk of developing osteoarthritis. Just like in humans, osteoarthritis in dogs is a disease that is caused when the cartilage around the joint bones starts wearing off. This causes the bones to rub against each other, causing mild to severe pain and even limited mobility.
With most dog breeds, osteoarthritis is something that usually only happens in old age. But since Husky breeds are naturally predisposed to it, arthritis can start in Huskies that are as young as a few years old. The symptoms may not start showing until years later, however.
Another health problem that can lead to arthritis is canine dysplasia. This is also a very common hereditary disease in purebred Huskies. When a Husky is born with dysplasia, it means their joints weren’t formed properly, causing problems in their body. As they grow older, this will eventually result in arthritis.
What are the signs of arthritis in Huskies?
Here are some signs to look out for if you think your Huskies have arthritis.
- Unwillingness to get up, run, or play
- Sudden change in behavior
- Unusual weight gain
- Pain when being touched
- Accidents inside the house
- Loss of muscle mass
If you see at least two or three of these signs, it’s time to schedule a visit to the veterinarian. The vet will take an X-ray of your Husky’s joints to determine where he or she really has arthritis. If it’s confirmed to be arthritis, the vet will recommend suitable treatments to alleviate your dog’s pain.
How to prevent arthritis in Huskies
While arthritis is a completely treatable disease, that doesn’t mean it’s nothing to worry about. Keep in mind that arthritis is a very cruel disease for breeds as active as Huskies, who are used to playing, jumping, and running all day long. Arthritis can severely limit and, in extreme cases, even hinder that completely.
Here are some things you can do to prevent arthritis in Huskies.
Watch out for warning signs
Arthritis doesn’t come from nowhere. It’s a disease that takes months and years to fully develop. In order words, it’s impossible for a Husky to not have it one day and then suddenly have it the next day. So if you see some early symptoms in Huskies, be sure to check with your vet immediately.
Have them tested for hip dysplasia
Dogs with dysplasia are more likely to get arthritis as they grow up, and dysplasia is a very common disease among Huskies. As a precaution, have your Husky pups tested for hip or elbow dysplasia as soon as possible, which is typically around 4 months old for hip dysplasia and 5 months old for elbow dysplasia.
Don’t let them get too heavy
Overweight Huskies are more likely to develop arthritis since the excess weight causes additional stress on the joints. Keep your Huskies at a normal weight to lower their chances of developing arthritis someday.
Use joint supplements
Supplements can help keep your Husky’s joints healthy and promote healthy cartilage development. You can also feed them foods rich in Omega-3 like fish treats or fish oil.
So, do Huskies suffer from arthritis? Yes, it’s actually very common in Huskies. Luckily, it’s completely treatable and preventable, with the right steps.
In this article, we learned that:
- Huskies can suffer from arthritis
- Arthritis and dysplasia, which can lead to arthritis, are common in Husky breeds
- Limping, lethargy, pain when touched, and unwillingness to get up are symptoms of arthritis
- Use preventive measures to ensure that your Husky won’t get arthritis
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