Arthritis in pets

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Google Maps location for Echuca Veterinary Clinic

Echuca Veterinary Clinic
332 High Street
Victoria 3564

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03 5482 3202

Deniliquin Veterinary Clinic
389 Poictiers Street
NSW 2710

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03 5881 5488

Moama Veterinary Clinic
61 Meninya Street
Vic 2731

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03 5480 6071

Finley Veterinary Clinic
57 Warmatta St
NSW 2713

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03 5883 3833

As the cooler months are approaching, we are seeing more and more of our elderly pets succumb to the effects of osteoarthritis. This is a very debilitating disease, making our beloved pets slow to get up in the morning, sleep throughout most of the day and/or refuse to chase their favourite ball. Your pet may also favour one leg as they get up in the morning, which then appears to improve as the day progresses. It can be heartbreaking to watch our pets slow down as they age, but there are many treatment options available to make them much more comfortable in their older years.

Most clients opt for a drug called cartrophen, which is also commonly referred to as the “arthritis injection”. This involves an initial loading course, followed by booster injections every 3 or 6 months. It acts to preserve the cartilage that the arthritis is destroying, preventing further damage to the joint and helping to alleviate the pain associated with bone-on-bone contact during movement. It is a very safe drug with minimal adverse reactions, and is also easy for owners to integrate into their pet’s health and treatment regime. There are also food additives that are available, such as Sasha’s Blend and 4cyte, that act in a similar manner.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are another arthritic treatment option which reduces the pain and inflammation by minimizing inflammatory mediators that are released into your pet’s joint during arthritis. These can be given daily or intermittently, but carry the potential risk of causing ulceration in your pet’s stomach or contributing to kidney disease. They offer immediate pain relief, and are commonly administered in cases in which the pain is too severe to be controlled with other means alone.

In terms of controlling pain at home, it is important that your pet is maintained on a controlled exercise regime that does not involve high intensity exercise that would put further strain on their joints. It is also very helpful that they are kept in a bed raised off the floor to minimize heat loss, as warmth works to alleviate your pet’s painful joints.

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