Rheumatoid Arthritis

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Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) materializes when the immune system has an overreaction making rheumatoid arthritis an immune-mediated disease. Although rheumatoid arthritis can happen in many species, even humans, this report will focus on the impacts in canine. To understanding rheumatoid arthritis one needs to know the cause of the disease, the disease process, the anatomy of the canine it affects, signs you might see in the animal, the ways to test for rheumatoid arthritis, the treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, and finally the long and short term expectations for the canine.

Rheumatoid arthritis results in the teardown of articular cartilage, which is the smooth connective tissue at the end of bones where the bone and joint meet. Common points
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Like any form of arthritis the bones and joints are greatly affected. As previously mentioned all joints have the potential to become affected by rheumatoid arthritis. The major components that are affected are the carpus, metacarpus, tarsus, and metatarsus. A canine with rheumatoid arthritis will have swollen joint capsules, inflamed synovium, bone erosion, and cartilage erosion..

In the early stages of rheumatoid arthritis, the canine might have a slight lameness in one or a few limbs and possible slight anorexia. As the disease progresses to a chronic stage the owner and veterinarian will see chronic intermittent lameness and deformities of the ligaments particularly in the carpus, metacarpus, tarsus, and metatarsus. The canine might have a limited range of motion, swelling of the soft tissue, joint pain, and a slight fever. It is also possible that a mild lymphadenopathy, a disease affecting the lymph nodes, might be found upon
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Rheumatoid arthritis can be diagnosed by doing simple radiographs of the joints. Other test to perform that can confirm rheumatoid arthritis is taking a sample of synovial fluid, and doing a urinalysis. In the early stages rheumatoid arthritis, you will see periarticular swelling, in the middle stage you will see periarticular osteoporosis, and in the late stage you will see extensive bone and joint

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