“He’s just getting older.” “She’s not as spry as she used to be.”
“Osteoarthritis” is almost synonymous with “older pets,” but it’s not just a disease of old age.
Arthritis is the inflammation of a joint, which can cause pain and swelling. The most common type is degenerative arthritis which can interfere with the activities of daily living.
There is no single cause of OA. There are many factors involved, including:
Body conformation and conditioning, as well as being overweight.
Abnormal joint development and lifestyle activities along with injuries and surgeries.
Signs of OA can be exhibited in different ways: becoming less active, walking stiffly, difficulty getting up and down, lameness, swollen joints, yelps when touched or exercising and even aggression.
Veterinary care can help reduce inflammation and ease the pain of arthritis.
The dog to the left has arthritis in his hip. The joint of the hip should be nice and smooth. In this image it has a rough appearance.
Here are some of the tools your veterinarian may use to treat your pet:
Nutrition can help your pet normalize body weight and condition. It is important to stick strictly to a nutritional program.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications can effectively control pain and inflammation in dogs and may make them feel like a puppy again.
Chondroprotective agents, including glucosamine and chondroitin, are natural compounds use to replenish joint material.
Omega Fatty Acids have beneficial anti-inflammatory properties.
Gabapentin is a pain medication that addresses chronic pain with a neuropathic component.
Tramadol works on pain receptors and may be a useful when combined with a NSAID or other analgesics.
There are simple things that pet owners can provide that can help with comfort and mobility.
These include: providing soft, padded bedding, raising the food and water bowls to elbow height, placing non-skid floor surfaces, a ramp where steps are present and adhering to prescribed feeding and medication recommendations