Friday, April 5, 2019

Arthritis in Pets

Arthritis is not an exclusively human condition; it also affects millions of pets, especially dogs. Arthritis comes in several types but osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease, is the most common. Approximately one in five adult dogs suffer from this condition, and age isn’t the only contributing factor. Injuries, obesity, congenital defects, and even metabolic disorders can contribute to the development of osteoarthritis.

How Does Arthritis Occur?
Whether it’s due to age, repetitive activity, or joint deformity, if the cartilage in your pet’s joint(s) starts to wear down, the bones will rub against each other. Cartilage acts as a cushion between bones to prevent this friction, and when it’s gone, there’s nothing to protect the bones from the friction that occurs every time your pet moves. Over time, the bones start to break down. Some pets can even develop bone spurs, which cause additional pain and loss of mobility.

Osteoarthritis generally occurs in the knees, hips, elbows, shoulders, and lower back.

Signs Your Pet May Have Arthritis

Common signs of arthritis include:

Decreased activity
Weight gain
Difficulty standing and walking (“slowing down”)
Decreased appetite
May seem more irritable, especially when touched
Sleeping more often
Unable or unwilling to jump into the car or up onto the couch (if this is the norm at your home)
Having accidents in the house

Treatment is Available

It isn’t easy to see your pet in pain and struggling day to day, but their condition can be improved. Arthritis is not uncommon and therefore, we have treatment options available. It’s important that we examine your pet first to see what areas are affected, and we need to understand their health history to ensure that any treatment we choose will be safe for them.

Arthritis treatment often includes multiple modalities, such as oral medication, joint supplements, and laser therapy. We’re pleased to offer laser therapy to our patients, because it is safe, non-invasive, and gentle, and it produces results.

Your pet does not need to live out their life in pain. Contact Always Compassionate Veterinary Care for more information and to request a consultation.

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