Perhaps you have noticed your best friend moves a little slower, difficulty moving after prolonged exercise, hard time to sit or get up from the laying position, or maybe he doesn’t jump up and down off the bed anymore. Arthritis could be the cause of the changes in your pet. Millions of pets are in pain caused by the often debilitating affects of arthritis. While there is no cure for this disease, treatment options are widely available to decrease pain and increase the quality of life for our four-legged friends and their families. Although arthritis is more common in older large and giant breed dogs, the disease can affect any species, breed, size or age of animal including cats and birds. Trauma to joints or breed predisposition to hip and elbow dysplasia may cause early onset of arthritis in otherwise healthy pets. Early diagnosis is highly beneficial as it provides the greatest opportunity to create a long term health plan for the treatment of your pet.
Treatment options vary and may include oral or injectable forms of medications or supplements to improve joint health. Oral or injectable glucosamine called Adequan, NSAIDS – such as Rimadyl, pain medications like Tramadol, acupuncture and holistic medicine, hydrotherapy and ultrasound therapy are some of the treatments frequently utilized. Stay away from aspirin and/or ibuprofen as they have toxic affects in dogs and cats. Often within a period of less than one month owners may see drastic improvements in their pet’s daily activities. In addition, your veterinarian may recommend diet and exercise as many pets with arthritis tend to become over weight and have poor muscle tone. Low impact exercise such as swimming or simply daily walks is a great way to decrease weight while increasing the mobility of your pet and maintain muscle tone. For more information ask Animal Central to determine the best course of treatment for your best friend.
We will address several of the treatment options in future blogs.
For additional information on Arthritis please visit:
Dr. George Stroberg, DVM and Staff