Sad DogUnfortunately, pet arthritis, especially in our seniors, is an extremely common problem. As we become more and more aware of this issue in pets we are detecting it early and sooner.

Arthritis can certainly take a toll on our pet patients, but that doesn’t mean that we need to stand by helpless. In fact, there are more options than ever for helping these patients. Keep reading to learn what we can do for pet arthritis.

Arthritis 101

Most everyone has heard of arthritis, but do you really know what it is? Arthritis, which is also often called degenerative joint disease, is the breakdown of the normal surfaces and structures within a joint. This process results in pain and inflammation.

Arthritis can occur secondary to normal wear and tear (aging) but can be accelerated by injury, abnormal forces on a joint due to things like poor conformation, or even early onset diseases such as hip dysplasia.

Arthritis can affect any joint, so symptoms may vary. Pets who are suffering from arthritis, however, often show:

  • Reluctance to move
  • Slowness to rise
  • Less willingness to exercise
  • A lameness in one or more limbs that resolves with movement
  • Decreased ability to do the things that they once enjoyed

There is no cure for pet arthritis at this time, however this doesn’t mean that all hope is lost.

Our Plan of Attack on Pet Arthritis

There are more options than ever before to help pets who suffer from arthritis. Most pets benefit from a combination of treatments, and Countryside Animal Hospital is prepared to help. For an individual pet, an arthritis treatment regimen might consist of some of the following:

Weight management – Excessive weight is the enemy of arthritis. The more weight that a diseased joint has to bear, the worse the problem. We are prepared to help you achieve and maintain an ideal weight for your pet to prevent exacerbation of arthritis.

Nutraceuticals – Many nutritional supplements have been shown to provide great benefits towards joint health. Oral supplements containing glucosamine/chondroitin, high concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids, and injectable hyaluronic acid supplements can all be an integral part of pet arthritis management. Please ask us if you have questions about this modality of treatment!

Prescription medications – Many pets do require the help of prescription medications to increase mobility and manage pain. Several medications may be prescribed, with the most frequent being a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory.

Chiropractic careChiropractic treatments can help arthritic pets to achieve more normal function and improve quality of life.

Therapeutic laser – The use of therapeutic laser has been shown to decrease pain and inflammation and stimulate healing in diseased joints. Countryside Animal Hospital uses a Cutting Edge laser to help our pet patients.

With a little help, pets with arthritis are getting around better than ever. If you think that your pet might be suffering from arthritis, please contact us today so that we can get started in putting together a plan of attack to help. Pet arthritis is no fun, but together we can win the battle.