With the colder weather well and truely here you may be seeing signs of your older pet beginning to slow down and really feel the cold. Unfortunately arthritis is a common problem in our older animals (both dogs and cats!) and can really take a toll on the overall quality of life of your pet.
Most people have heard of arthritis, but are you really sure about what exactly it is? Also called degenerative joint disease, arthritis is pain and inflammation within the joint causewd by the breakdown of the normal structures of the joint. This degredation can be caused by the normal wear and tear of the aging body, but the process can be sped up by other factors like injury, poor conformation and diseases like elbow and hip dysplasia. At this time there is no cure for arthritis, but there are plenty of things we can do to make life easier for arthritic pets! All of the treatments listed below can be used together to provide a balanced management plan for arthritis.
Weight management: Weight loss is one of our big guns when it comes to managing arthritis, the more weight and force applied to an arthritic joint, the worse the pain and inflammation gets! Pop in for a free consult with our Porky Paws vet nurse Megan and see how we can help you better manage your pets weight.
Supplements: Supplements can play an important role in the management of your pets arthritis. There are many nutritional supplements on the market that have been shown to provide some benefits towards joint health in your pet, call in to have a chat with one of our friendly vets or nurses about this option.
Prescription medication: Many of our older animals do require a helping hand in dealing with their pain and lack of mobility due to arthritis. Several medications can benefit your pet and help to get them pain free and active again - just make a consult with one of our vets to discuss what will be the best option for your pet.
Exercise therapy: While our arthritic patients may not feel like getting up and moving, it's important to keep them active to ensure they stay fit and supple. For patients who are struggling to get going for a walk, hydrotherapy in our heated underwater treadmill may be a good option, especially in this cool weather!