What can I do about my pet’s arthritis?

AVIS À NOS LECTEURS: tel qu’exigé par l’Ordre des médecins vétérinaires du Québec, pour se conformer aux codes de déontologie relatifs à la publicité, les chroniques informatives suivantes qui comportent le logo de notre entreprise, doivent être interprétées comme des publicités. (L’ajout du terme « publicité » sera ajouté progressivement sur chaque chronique au cours de l’année 2016).
Osteoarthritis is a chronic degenerative disease that may affect any joint. It occurs when cartilage in the joint is damaged, either following a traumatic event or with wear and tear that increases in athletic animals, obese animals, or when the joint is congenitally (at birth) abnormal.1

Exactly what can I do? (1)

  1. Recognize the signs: signs of osteoarthritis are often misunderstood as a sign of « aging ». They may include reluctance to take walks of usual length, stiffness (that may disappear once the pet has ‘warmed up’), difficulty climbing stairs, rising from rest, limping, abnormal gait and licking of a single joint.
  2. Keep the weight off (1) and maintain lean body weight is absolutely critical for arthritic patients.
  3. Offer controlled moderate safe exercise (1)  such as swimming or walking through shallow water, leach walking and controlled jogging.
  4. Cartilage is made up of chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine metabolites, among other things. Synergistic combinations of nutraceuticals such as glucosamine hydrochloride and chondroitine sulfate, omega 3 supplementation and specialized diet help to support cartilage structure, prevent further deterioration, suppress inflammation, and reduce free radical damage (1).
  5. Several prescription drugs are used depending on the severity of the osteoarthritis to preserve the cartilage and decrease the inflammation and or decrease pain.
Warning! Some human formulated drugs are often harmful for our pets, especially cats. Never use a human medication of any kind in a pet without specific instructions on how to do so from your veterinarian!
  1. Physiotherapy, rehabilitation, and alternative medicines are increasingly used in the management of osteoarthritis in dogs. Your veterinarian can recommend you a competent vet specialist in these fields.

For questions and details regarding osteoarthritis in your dog, take an appointment with one of our veterinarian. Publicité, Clinique Vétérinaire Vaudreuil Inc. 450-218-9090

References:

  1. Veterinary Information Network 2008 www.vin.com
  2. Houston D.M. 2010. What’s new? Medical Royal Canin veterinary conference. March 2010
  3. Roush JK, et al. A multicenter veterinary practice assessment of the effects of omega-3 fatty acids osteoaarthritis in dogs. JAVMA 2010; 236:59-66

by Caroline Senay m.v.
Update: November 2015