Arthritis Treatment for Dogs

Arthritis can be a painful and debilitating disease associated with aging. Maintaining a regular schedule of check-ups throughout life can help to reduce your dog’s risk of arthritis, and minimize the effects of it when it does occur. Many factors can affect arthritis, such as activity patterns, weather changes, previous injuries, and body condition. Early identification and management of risk factors for arthritis by your veterinarian will reduce the impact of this disease on your pet’s senior years.

What are the symptoms of arthritis in dogs?

Signs of arthritis can differ between dogs due to significant variation in breed conformation, lifestyle, and your dog’s personality. Some commonalities include stiffness after intense activity or prolonged rest, loss of endurance, reduced jumping ability, difficulty with stairs, and the typical general description of “slowing down”.

What causes arthritis in dogs?

Osteoarthritis (OA), also known as a degenerative joint disease (DJD), is a degeneration of the cartilage that cushions the joints. It causes inflammation and pain in the joint, and can eventually lead to changes in the bone around the joint. Senior dogs are at the highest risk of developing arthritis, but other factors can increase the risk of arthritis, such as traumatic events, congenital abnormalities, obesity, and high-intensity exercise.

What are some treatment options for arthritis in dogs?

Arthritis management is typically described as “multi-modal”, meaning that there are many strategies used to help reduce the progression of the disease and alleviate the discomfort associated with it. These treatment options can include supplements, weight control, changes in activity pattern, pain medication, acupuncture, or laser therapy and physiotherapy.

If you see signs of possible arthritis in your pet, one of our veterinarians would be happy to assess their joints and discuss how to begin their multi-modal approach to arthritis management.

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