Arthritis occurs in many older dogs, cats and rabbits etc. though they often show variable signs from lameness to reluctance to jump or sleeping more as it’s painful to move. Arthritis can also occur in relatively young animals either after accidents or due to growth problems.
Arthritis is inflammation within the joints and in the early stages there may be very little bony or cartilage change but as time progresses the damage to joint will increase. We diagnose arthritis through a physical examination checking the range of movement and possible pain elicited and by x-rays to assess the stage of arthritis. We then aim to slow any progression of the arthritis through a variety of treatments.
Weight control is very important because the more excess weight they carry, the more pressure on joints and if you have problems with this, we run weight clinics to give advice, help and support to slim your dog or cat. Regular exercise is helpful though short and frequent walks are better than one long walk.
Joint supplements can help and these can vary a lot depending on the type and amount of chondroitin/ glucosamine and other nutraceutical products which can help, we recommend Nutraquin which as a herbal anti-inflammatory called Boswellia; there is another joint supplement that aids in deregulating the immune reaction within the joint called Flexadin Advanced, which helps to slow the continual damage to the joint. And there is a course of injections that are closely related to joint supplement that aids in reducing the inflammation in joints and helps to protect the cartilage.
Where we are getting more pain from arthritis it is important to use pain relief and this is available in a variety of drugs from either daily tablets or liquid to monthly treatments and this will vary according to your pet’s needs, which can be discussed and sorted when they need the pain relief.