Unfortunately degenerative joint disease is common in older pets. Arthritis occurs when the smooth cartilage that protects their joints breaks down, causing chronic pain and inflammation. Exposed joints are subject to excessive wear and tear that leads to irreversible damage, hindering flexibility and movement.
Symptoms of arthritis include limping, stiffness, discomfort trying to lie down or rise up, swollen joints, inability to jump up or down, reluctance to use stairs, and loss of flexibility. If you notice any of these signs in your pet, schedule an appointment with us today. We will conduct a thorough physical exam that may also include x-rays and other diagnostic tests to confirm the source of your pet’s symptoms.
Treatment for your pet’s arthritis primarily aims to manage symptoms and improve their quality of life. There are several types of medications that can help to reduce inflammation and possibly reduce the severity of the cartilage degeneration. These medications include pain relievers, anti-inflammatories, nutritional supplements, and special joint diets (Hills J/D). Therapeutic laser treatments can be very effective in decreasing pain and inflammation. Weight management and controlled exercise are perhaps the most important things you can do to keep your pet comfortable and active as they age.
Please contact us if you suspect your pet may be suffering from arthritis.