A progressive and painful degenerative disease, arthritis is extremely common in older dogs. It is usually the result of ongoing wear and tear and instability in the joints, and is typified by a breakdown of the joint’s cartilage.

Arthritis can affect one or more joints anywhere in your dog’s body; however the most common joints affected in dogs are the hips, knees, shoulders and elbows.

Although age is the leading cause of arthritis, it can develop due to a number of factors such as excess weight, which puts extra stress on the joints; trauma from accidents, hip and elbow dysplasia and the exertions of everyday life.

Large and giant breeds such as German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Great Danes, Labradors, Rottweilers and Saint Bernards are also more prone to joint problems.