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Question
Posted by: greg lehmann | 2019/03/22

Is arthritis prevalent with certain dog breeds more than others?

For 12 years I had a purebred Lhasa Apso named Et Tu. But six weeks after returning in 1990 from a two week vacation to my nephew's first communion on Long Island (where my 6'7" brother in law Dennis Crowley spent time serving in the United States Coast Guard) Et Tu had to be put to sleep because he had rheumatoid arthritis. I know dogs can develop arthritis diabetes or cancer but would certain dog breeds be more likely than other dog breeds to develop arthritis or other human diseases than other dog breeds? (I think these ailments are much more common in purebred dogs than dogs who are mixed breed.)

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberVet
- 2019/03/26

Arthritis as a disease has numerous forms that include osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease, septic arthritis from infection and  immune mediated which includes rheumatoid arthritis. Most arthritis develops due to incorrect biomechanics. That is, abnormal forces operating through normal joints or normal forces operating through abnormal joints. Large breed dogs such as German Shepherds, Golden Labradors and Retrievers and Boerboels are all predisposed to developing arthritis due to their weight and genetic history. Small breeds like Pekingnese, and Pugs can also develop arthritis due to their confirmation. Cross breeds can also develop arthritis if they carry genetics of breeds predisposed to developing arthritis. Up to 20% of dogs over the age of 1 present with arthritis.

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