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Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disorder where the cartilage of the joint degrades and leaves the site open to the formation of bony irregularities which cause pain.


The aging process will naturally cause some degree of erosion within the joints but osteoarthritis is found more commonly in dogs that are perhaps predisposed to it.


Those with hip or elbow dysplasia may get osteoarthritis in addition as a result of the displacement of the bones; this isn’t common as with those dogs predisposed to it. Dogs may also have suffered a preceding injury or trauma to the joint resulting in abnormal stress during movement.




  • Stiffness
  • Reluctance to jump or climb stairs
  • Getting up from laying/sitting
  • Lethargy
  • Intolerance to extreme temperatures
  • Reluctance to exercise
  • Loss of full ROM (range of movement)
  • Swelling at the joint
  • Altered gait
  • Loss of sensation to affected limb

Massage Benefits


  • Warms up the muscles
  • Relaxes the muscles
  • Increases ROM by releasing tight spots in the muscle
  • Increases general flexibility and mobility
  • Reduces muscle spasm
  • Reduces swelling at the joint