Arthritis (Osteoarthritis)

Signs of Arthritis:

  •  Stiffness or swelling of the joints
  • Hesitation to run, jump, or climb (cats)
  • Favoring certain limbs when moving; obvious stiffness/difficulty walking
  • Dogs–groaning after getting up from a long rest
  • Cats–house soiling due to difficulty climbing in/out of the litter box

Prevention & Treatments:

1) Exercise: Consistent daily exercise is important to maintain normal muscle mass and support for affected joints.  Low impact and low intensity exercise is best

2) Diet: Feed the appropriate amount of calories, and avoid giving too many treats. Arthritis is more and common and more painful for overweight pets. There are also prescription diets specifically formulated for joint health. Mobility Support by Royal Canin and J/D by Hills are just 2 great options.

3) Supplements:  Several supplements are available that can help reduce inflammation and provide joint support including Dasuquin, Cosequin, fish oil, and Duralactin.

4) Acupuncture: improves circulation and decreases inflammation in many conditions, including arthritis.  Acupuncture has promise for helping any pet that has a reversible or painful condition, and can also minimize the potential need for certain medications

5) Cold Laser Therapy:  Laser light penetrates into targeted tissues stimulating cells to produce ATP, which fuels cell repair and regeneration.  The laser simply put “jump starts” the healing process.

Together with your veterinarian, you can create a plan that will ease your pet’s pain without

How Do I Know if my Pet is in Pain?

Pets experience pain just as humans can. The biggest difference is that pets are very good at hiding their pain so it often goes undiagnosed and treated. Pain can significantly affect their quality of life. Pain can be seen with arthritis, neck/back disc disease with nerve root pain, dental disease, internal disease, trauma, and cancer. Our pain management appointments include a complete patient assessment with short and long term analgesia planning. We have a lot of ways we can treat pain including acupuncture, cold laser, physical therapy, supplements and medications. Each patient is unique and our pain management plans are tailored to fit your pet.

Signs of Pain in Pets
Loss of normal behaviors:
  • Decreased activity and movement
  • Lethargic attitude
  • Decreased appetite
  • Decreased grooming (cats)
Expression of abnormal behaviors:
  • Inappropriate elimination
  • Vocalization
  • Aggression or decreased interaction with other pets or family members
  • Altered facial expression
  • Altered posture
  • Restlessness
  • Hiding (especially cats)
Reaction to touch:
  • Increased body tension or flinching in response to gentle touching of injured area and palpation of areas likely to be painful: neck, back, hips, elbows
Physiologic parameters:
  • Elevations in heart rate, respiratory rate, body temperature, and blood pressure
  • Pupils dilated