As our pets get older their joints start to feel the wear of age just as ours do. Arthritis is a common ailment of the senior pet. Bella recently came to visit us as her owners noticed that she was beginning to slow down. She was finding it harder to get up and seemed to be a bit stiffer in her joints. Bella had early stages arthritis.
Arthritis or osteoarthritis simply means inflammation of the joints. In arthritic joints the cartilage has deteriorated and makes normal movement of the joint painful.
So what can we do for Bella to reduce her pain and stiffness?
- Weight control is important in the treatment of arthritis. If your pet is overweight the joints are under added pressure which can make the pain of arthritis worse.
- Joint supplements in the form of a food, eg. Hills joint diet (j/d) or osteocare supplements are a good choice as the extra glucosamine and chondroitin help to lubricate the joints.
- Injectable medications such as Pentosan/ Synovan both work to stabilise joint membranes, help joint cartilage repair, and improve joint lubrication. Generally we see a great improvement in pets quality of life once they start on a course of these medications.
After visiting us at the clinic Bella had a plan to try to lose a little weight and to start a course of Synovan injections. Her response to these has been great and she is enjoying running pain free at the park again.
Arthritis can affect cats just as much as dogs. The signs of arthritis in your pet can be hard sometimes to identify. If you notice any of the following symptoms contact us to book your pet in for a senior checkup including a discussion about arthritis management;
Signs of arthritis may include:
- Reluctance to walk, climb stairs, jump up or play
- Limping/ lameness
- Lagging or struggling on walks
- Difficulty rising from a rest position
- Yelping in pain when touches
- Licking at the joints
Visit the links below to learn more about arthritis and your pet.