Canine and Equine Osteoarthritis

By Amy Snow and Nancy Zidonis


The most common type of arthritis for dogs and horses is osteoarthritis. It’s a degenerative joint disease characterized by the wearing a way of cartilage. It can be the result of impact trauma, injury, over-use, infection, poor conformation, hereditary issues, mineral or dietary deficiencies, and aging. Horses and dogs involved in competitive activities are more apt to develop arthritis at an earlier age due to the increased stress on their joints.

Being aware of common causes combined with early detection of arthritis affords you the opportunity to slow the progression of the disease.          

Early signs of arthritis can be:

• Mild swelling and heat in the joint

• Reluctance or refusal to perform in his usual activity or sport

• Stiffness following inactivity

• Favoring a limb

• Decrease in joint flexibility (range of motion

• Crunching (“crepitus”) sound when the joint is flexed

• Tenderness of joint upon palpation

• Tiring more quickly than usual

• Sudden attitude or mood change

As osteoarthritis progresses, the horse or dog will most likely exhibit an increasing degree of lameness and escalating pain.  The points shown in the chart below can benefit and bring a measure of relief to your animal.

To find out more about this condition and Acupresse for Canines, visit our website at or purchase the book Acu-Dog: A Guide to Canine Acupressure.

Healthy Coat