Arthritis is a chronic condition that affects your pet’s joints

Arthritis is a chronic condition that affects your pet’s joints and can cause pain and decreased mobility. There are many treatment options to help ease the discomfort of arthritis in your pet.

The first step in diagnosing arthritis is to recognize the symptoms your dog may be experiencing. Talk with your veterinarian about what you’ve noticed in your pet’s behavior and get a thorough physical exam of your pet’s joints to identify potential signs of arthritis. The vet will ask you about your pet’s history of injury to the joint, how long ago he started displaying symptoms, and how severe they are.

X-rays and blood or joint fluid tests can also be done to rule out other conditions that can cause pain, inflammation, and mobility problems in your pet’s joints. Occasionally, a CT scan or MRI of the affected joint may be required to pinpoint the exact location and extent of arthritis.

Signs of arthritis in your dog or cat

The earliest sign of arthritis that you may notice in your pet is a limp. Your dog may seem to “slow down” as he walks or it might take him a while to recover after playing with you. If he is having trouble getting up from the ground, or if he takes longer to jump up on furniture, these are all signs of arthritis that warrant a visit to your veterinarian.

Overweight or obese pets are more susceptible to developing arthritis. This is because extra weight places more pressure on joints and can increase the pain that dogs experience as a result of their arthritis.

A well-structured exercise program can be a great help in managing pain and improving mobility for arthritic pets. Regular leash walks, swimming, and other controlled movements will help keep your pet’s joints strong.

Anti-inflammatory medications are another common treatment for pain and stiffness in arthritic pets. These medications can be administered by mouth or injected into the joints. Your veterinarian will discuss the benefits of each type of medication and the best way to use them.

NSAIDs are commonly prescribed for dogs with more severe forms of arthritis because they can reduce pain and inflammation. However, they can have negative side effects if used for too long, especially with dogs with liver or kidney issues.

Steroids are another common treatment option, but these can have serious side effects if used too long. Over time, they can break down the body’s tissues including the joints and have a detrimental effect on your pet’s immune system and heart health.

Supplements and diets are also commonly used to help manage the pain and inflammation of arthritis in pets. These include omega-3 fatty acids, glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate. These supplements can also help build cartilage and lubricate the joints.

Osteoarthritis in dogs is most often caused by age, but can also be due to injury or autoimmune disorders. It’s common in large breed dogs, as are those with hip dysplasia, cranial cruciate ligament disease, or patella luxations (knee caps).

In addition to conventional medicine, holistic treatments like yoga and massage therapy can also help improve mobility in your pet. Acupuncture and low-level laser therapy are also effective in reducing the pain and discomfort of arthritis in your pet.