Arthritis is a degenerative joint disease impacting your pet's mobility and pain levels. Though the disease isn't curable, it is treatable with a range of techniques we'll identify to meet your pet's specific needs. Pets at any life stage can be diagnosed with arthritis, though it is most common in our older patients.
How does arthritis develop?
Arthritis develops when the cartilage protecting your pet's bones wears away, removing the cushioning that prevents friction between them. It is often caused by the general wear-and-tear of joints, as your pet uses them every day to run, jump, play and move. Your pet could have an injury that causes acute pain and slowly develops into chronic pain caused by arthritis. Genetics, obesity, or your pet's activity levels could also cause arthritis.
Which body joints does it affect?
The disease often affects the joints that carry most of your pet's weight, including their hips, elbows, knees, wrists, ankles, spine and shoulder. It can be difficult to know if your pet has arthritis in the disease's early stages since symptoms get progressively worse over time. Some symptoms to be mindful of include:
- Less mobility
- Less active
- More irritability
- Abnormal posture
How can my pet get relief from the pain?
Based on the stage of your pet's arthritis, we'll determine which treatments can ease your pet's pain, making them as comfortable as possible. Since obesity puts more strain on your pet's joints, weight loss is the first step in supporting pain management. Exercise also strengthens the muscles, ligaments and tendons around the joints. By promoting the production of joint fluid, exercise also lubricates the joints. We can also recommend non-inflammatory medications and special diets/dietary supplements with fatty acids that decrease inflammation. To learn more about arthritis treatment options, please contact us at 416-745-4700.