Pet Arthritis Care
Arthritis doesn’t discriminate. It affects not only people of all ages but also our furry friends.
Arthritis in Dogs and Cats
You can make sure that your companion eats well, gets exercise, takes his heartworm medicine, looks bright-eyed, and is active. If he seems to be acting slower and doesn’t greet you at the door, you may suspect he isn’t feeling well, or he has the flu when it could be arthritis. Arthritis affects one out of 5 dogs in the US and is one of the most common sources of chronic pain that a veterinarian treats.
What is arthritis?
Arthritis is a degenerative condition that affects one or more joints. It can occur in dogs with an inherited orthopedic disease such as hip dysplasia or from an injury to the joint. Some cases are related to an immune-mediated joint disease or joint infection.
Osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease is common in dogs affecting up to 1 out of 5 dogs in their lifetime. Older dogs and young dogs may have to deal with hip dysplasia, ruptured cruciate ligaments, patella luxation, or joint trauma. Dogs and cats also can suffer from arthritis in their neck or back, just as we do. Large breed dogs are affected more often than smaller breed dogs. Heavy dogs are more likely to exhibit symptoms due to the extra strain placed on their joints.
Signs that your dog or cat may have arthritis:
- Favoring a limb
- Sleeping more
- Hesitancy to jump, run or climb stairs
- Decreased activity or less interest in play
- Less alert
- Difficulty sitting or standing
- Seeming to have stiff or sore joints
- Weight gain
- Attitude or behavior changes
- Holding their head down and not willing to turn their head or lookup
If any of these describe your dog’s behavior for more than two weeks, please contact us for an evaluation which will include a history, physical exam, joint manipulation, and digital x-rays. The best thing you can do for your pet is to get a diagnosis and start a treatment plan as soon as possible.
Modalities for Treatment of Arthritis
Early treatment can improve the quality of your friend’s life. We can manage arthritis through the use of several modalities:
- A healthy diet and the proper amount of exercise to maintain a healthy weight
- Pharmaceuticals can be used to manage inflammation and pain – many new products are now available
- Innovative neutraceuticals that include pain management, chondroprotective supplements, and immunotherapy for your pet. These include Senior I Tabs and P Tabs
- Rehabilitation evaluation and development of treatment plans
- Some cases are responsive to surgical therapies
- Laser Therapy (high wattage and low wattage)
- Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy – for at-home care
- NICE Therapeutics – SanaWave
Never give your dog human medication without checking with us first! Certain medications, especially acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Motrin), can be toxic.
We are here to help your furry friend improve their quality of life and to help you gain back your companion. Give us a call so we can discuss the many options we now have available.