Why may my dog require a joint tap (Arthrocentesis)?
Your observations as the owner, and the physical examination by the vet, are the most reliable ways of detecting arthritis. However, other conditions affecting one or more joints could be causing the clinical signs. These include septic arthritis (a bacterial infection within the joint), or immune-mediated arthritis (an attack of the joint by a dog’s own immune system for various reasons). A joint tap can help rule out these other conditions.
To perform a joint tap your dog needs to be sedated. The joint fluid has to be collected under sterile conditions, collecting the fluid through a needle for examination and culture.