Arthritis is a sneaky condition
It tends to creep up over time and our pets won't always show obvious signs until they are in considerable pain.
The disease is caused by the wearing down of the cartilage that covers the bones at the end of a joint. This 'cushioning' cartilage helps joints move freely and without discomfort but as it wears down, the ends of the bones become exposed and can rub together. You can imagine the pain this might cause your pet!
It is very important to understand that your pet won't necessarily limp or yelp or whimper if he is in pain.
Most of the signs of arthritic pain are subtle and here's what you should watch out for if you own a dog:
• Hesitant to jump into the car or up on furniture
• Slowing down on walks or a reluctance to walk as far
• A bit slow to get going after getting up
• Lowers his body slowly when going to lie down
• Behavioural changes e.g. grumpy when touched on the back
• Slipping on floorboards or hesitant to use stairs
Don't be tempted to put these changes down to 'he's just getting old' as your pet may be in significant pain - he just can't tell you!
Canine Mobility Questionnaire
Does your dog rise from rest with difficulty?
Does your dog hesitate when climbing up and down stairs?
Does your dog tire easily and lag behind on walks?
Does your dog suffer stiffness, especially after resting?
Is your dog reluctant to play or run around?
Does your dog show pain when you touch certain body parts?
Does your dog show signs of lameness or limping?
Multimodal Management of Arthritis
Thankfully there is now a number of things we can do to slow the progression of the disease and keep your pet pain free.
1. Address Obesity - weight reduction is often the first step in managing arthritis
2. Monitor to ensure ideal weight is maintained
3. Dietary Management - a diet high in EPA, appropriate amounts of the building blocks of cartilage (glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate), antioxidants to help neutralise free radicals in the joints and a high level of L-carnitine to sustain optimal weight and joint health is important. Hills j/d addresses all of these nutritional factors.
4. Lifestyle Changes - encourage consistent low impact exercise.
5. Pharmaceutical therapy - such as NSAIDs.
Phone us on 8364 4545 to arrange an arthritis check up and we'll be able to work out a suitable treatment plan for your pet.