Did you know that even dogs and cats can have arthritis? What is arthritis specifically, you may ask? It is the loss of joint cartilage and the thickening and scarring of tissues around the joint. It’s degenerative, progressive, and irreversible. On average, 25% of dogs are diagnosed with arthritis in their lifetime. Arthritis is just as common in cats as it is in dogs but often show different signs and symptoms.
Though it’s not possible to cure arthritis, there are a few things we can do to help them be more comfortable and to help prevent further damage. Multiple treatments are the best way to do this.
Your pet’s weight can play a factor with increased stress on the joints and muscles. A proper diet with low-impact activities (ex: swimming, walking, etc.) can be very helpful with improving muscles mass, joint mobility and exercise tolerance.
Supplements can also help with slowing the breakdown of cartilage and depending on supplements used, could add some anti-inflammatory effects.
Prescribed medication is also an option. For example, NSAIDS (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug) will help reduce pain, decrease fever and decrease inflammation. Other medications may be aimed at only providing pain relief.
If you think your dog or cat could benefit from any of the above, please call your veterinary team to see how they can help.
Written by: Chloe, Technician