Arthritis is a complex condition involving inflammation of one or more joints. There are many causes of arthritis in pets, but the most common type is osteoarthritis (or bony arthritis), which is also known as degenerative joint disease. Our team can provide a range of therapeutic treatments to support your pet's pain management, helping them maintain a high quality of life.
How does arthritis affect pets?
Arthritis is one of the most common causes of chronic pain in dogs. Dogs that live with chronic pain become less fit, less playful, and less mobile as the condition progresses. Until recently, degenerative joint disease was not well recognized as a problem in cats. However, recent studies conducted through veterinary colleges have shown that this problem affects a surprisingly large number of cats.
How can I tell if my pet is in pain?
Since dogs and cats instinctively hide symptoms of pain as a survival mechanism, it has probably been present for a long time before your pet showed obvious symptoms. Subtle signs your pet has osteoarthritis include:
- Sleeping or resting more than in the past
- Reluctance to groom or sharpen the claws
- Difficulty getting in/out of the litter box or accidents around the house
- Difficulty jumping up or down on the furniture
- Irritability, especially when touched in tender areas
How can it be treated?
Though there's no cure for osteoarthritis, the good news is that early diagnosis and treatment can decrease, delay or avoid the breaking down of joints. If surgical correction is not an option based on your pet's condition, we manage the condition with gentle/controlled exercise, weight management, nutritional support, and medications to control pain and discomfort. Proper exercise will help to maintain your pet's mobility. Veterinary rehabilitation therapists can also design specific programs tailored to the needs of your pet's specific case. Managing obesity with a weight control diet can also lessen the strain on the joints. If you're interested in learning more about managing your pet's arthritis, please contact us at (416) 231-9293.