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Arthritis in Pets

Arthritis in pets is also known as (DJD) Degenerative Joint Disease. Arthritis develops as a result of abnormal rubbing within the joints due to age, wear and tear of the ligaments and joints, and old injuries. This leads to the cartilage surrounding the joints deteriorates. All animals can develop arthritis at any stage of their life but is more common in our senior pets.

Some signs of arthritis in your pets are:

– Lameness
– Having a hard time getting up or down
– Stiffness
– Not wanting to participate in activity they previously enjoyed
– Swollen and painful joints
– Irritability

Your local veterinary will be able to determine whether your pet is, in fact, suffering from arthritis by:

– Completing a physical exam
– Manipulating the joints
– Checking for abnormal bone formation
– Checking for joint pain
– Checking for swelling
– Poor range of motion

Your veterinarian may want to take a radiography of your pet’s joints, as radiographs are the best to diagnose arthritis.

There are a few different treatment options for arthritis in your pet:

– Diet change (food with a joint supplement)
– Anti-inflammatory medication
– Cartrophen injections
– Steroids
– Glucosamine
– Physiotherapy
– Laser therapy
– Acupuncture

Surgery may be considered as a treatment plan for your pet if the Veterinarian feels it is the best option.

If you believe your pet is suffering from arthritis or have any question, please phone your local veterinary hospital and discuss your options, in order to help your pet feel as comfortable as possible for his/her senior years.

 

Written by Natasha Cavanagh VA

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