This painful condition is not uncommon in Labradors. It can be seen in youngsters, or, more often, onset with age, as in humans. It is generally secondary to other joint problems e.g. Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD) or Osteochondrosis (OCD), or may develop following some injury, e.g. ruptured cruciate ligament.
Once arthritic changes have occurred in a joint, these are irreversible, though scientific studies have indicated that the addition of Omega 3 oils to the diet can delay or even stop the process of degeneration. There is also much anecdotal evidence, though not scientifically proven, that the addition of glucosamine and chondroitin can be beneficial. As with the previously mentioned joint problems, being overweight is certainly an important factor in the progression of this condition. Dogs that have been diagnosed as suffering from arthritis benefit from being kept more light weight.
If the dog is experiencing a lot of pain on moving about, the arthritis can be treated with anti-inflammatory drugs.