If your pet has been diagnosed with arthritis don’t despair! There are multiple ways we can treat the disease and help your pet live a longer and more comfortable life.
They key to managing the disease is a multi-targeted approach. If we use a combination of treatments it can help reduce the need for large amounts of medication and lessen the potential side effects of any one treatment.
Some of the treatments might include:
1. Disease modifying drugs
Given as a regular injection, these help to relieve pain and help to preserve joint cartilage. They can also improve the joint fluid meaning the joints are better lubricated and more comfortable when they move. They can be given as weekly, monthly or tri-monthly injections.
2. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
These help to reduce pain and inflammation. They can be given short term but may be needed for the rest of your pet’s life (as long as we monitor your pet’s kidney and liver function). They can be given in conjunction with other pain reducing drugs. Never give human pain relief medications to your pet.
3. Diets formulated for joint health
A diet high in essential fatty acids (with added nutriceuticals as discussed below) may help reduce inflammation, decrease pain and improve your pet’s mobility. Prescription joint diets can also help keep your pet in a healthy weight range meaning there is less weight on your pet’s joints. Ask us about the specific prescription diets we have available for joint health.
Fish oil and green lipped mussel contain high levels of Omega-3 and may help reduce inflammation and pain. Supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin may improve joint function and slow down the progression of arthritis. Human supplements are not appropriate for our pets so it is best to ask us for the best nutriceutical for your pet.
How to make your home arthritis friendly
To help your arthritic pet live a comfortable life there are a few things you can do at home.
Our number one tip is to keep your pet’s weight in a healthy range to reduce the load on the joint. If your pet is carrying even just 10% more bodyweight than is ideal they can really suffer, as can their joints. Ask us for the best diet recommendation for your pet.
Other things you can do at home:
- Provide a dry and comfortable bed with plenty of padding
- Heated beds are a good idea for winter
- Use a portable ramp to help your dog get in and out of the car
- Provide an additional piece of furniture so your cat doesn’t have to jump so high to reach their favourite spot
- Continue to exercise your pet in moderation; gentle daily walks for dogs help keep the joints moving and muscles active
When it comes to arthritis and your pet, we are always here to answer your questions. We will help keep your pet happy and comfortable and most importantly, pain free.
Meet Lenno. He suffers from osteoarthritis of the hip as he has mild hip joint deformity. The ball of his hip joint doesn’t sit in the socket very well allowing extra mobility and wear and tear of the joint.
This is a mild form of hip dysplasia. It is genetic and can affect certain breeds of dogs (mostly large breed dogs) but there are also environmental factors involved including diet, obesity and exercise.
Diagnosis was made with a thorough veterinary examination and
was confirmed with x-rays.
Lenno’s arthritis is managed with monthly arthritis injections and strict weight management. Lenno loves food so this might sound like a challenge but thankfully it’s not so bad as he is on a prescription diet to keep his weight in a healthy range avoiding extra stress on his joints. It also helps to preserve joint cartilage and slow the progression of his arthritis.
If your pet has arthritis, we will come up with a treatment plan and work with you to ensure your pet lives a happy and comfortable life. If you are worried about your pet you should always phone us for advice.