Many pets suffer from arthritis, just like humans. Arthritis commonly affects the hips, elbows, knees and shoulders in pets. The condition has no cure, but our team has extensive knowledge on how to give your pet a high quality of life. At our hospitals, we offer digital radiology, which is beneficial when diagnosing your pet’s condition.
What is osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis seen in pets. They usually develop the disease due to wear and tear when they are older. Over time the cartilage separating their bones wears down, which causes their bones to rub against each other. Your pet will experience chronic pain and inflammation in their joints. Some signs that may indicate your pet is having joint pain are:
- Walking stiffly
- Difficulty using the stairs
- Loss of stamina
- Stiff, swollen and sore joints
- Unexpected aggression towards other pets and humans
What causes osteoarthritis in pets?
Many factors can contribute to your pet developing arthritis. In most cases, the disease is caused by a combination of factors, which could be any of the following:
- Their weight: Being overweight puts more strain on their joints
- A physically active/athletic lifestyle: Hunting dogs are especially vulnerable
- A history of injury: Past bone or joint damage can cause pets to develop osteoarthritis
- Nutritional problems
- Body type and genetics: Certain breeds are more likely to have the disease
What treatment is recommended for arthritis?
Arthritis will only worsen with time, so your pet needs prompt treatment. The treatment your veterinarian will recommend won’t heal your pet, but it will help manage the disease. Some treatment options include a specialized diet, surgery, pain medication and physical rehabilitation.