It’s getting c…c…c…cold!
Winter has well and truly set in. It’s this time of year you may notice your old dog or cat has a little more trouble getting up after lying, or rising from a sitting position. They may appear a little depressed and
reluctant to go for walks or have difficulty walking up or down stairs.
If your pet is displaying any of these signs, they may be
Osteoarthritis or degenerative
joint disease, is a common condition
in older pets or pets that have
sustained a joint injury. The disease
is the result of the breakdown of joint cartilage and bone.
. The disease is the result of joint cartilage erosion and the loss of joint synovial fluid. Cartilage and synovial fluid act as a cushion to protect the ends of bones at a joint allowing comfortable, unrestricted movement. When cartilage wears away faster than it can be replaced, the joint becomes stiff, mobility is reduced and the exposed bone and nerve endings cause pain and inflammation.
Symptoms include pain, stiffness and a decrease in the range of movement at the affected joints.
What causes arthritis?
Age: Unfortunately age catches up with us all and the many years of movement can contribute to progressive wear and tear on joints.
Excess weight: Carrying extra weight puts joints under more than normal strain, this heightens the chances of joint damage.
Breed: Although arthritis can occur in any breed, there are certain breeds that do appear more prone than others. Large breed dogs such as Labradors, Retrievers, Shepherds and Rottweilers are more likely to develop arthritis along with Persian, Siamese and Himalayan cat breeds.
Injury: Trauma to a joint can damage the ligaments and cartilage which increases the chances of developing arthritis later in life. A cruciate ligament tear is an example of a knee injury which is known to progress the disease.
Genetics: Congenital or hereditary predispositions may make some pets more prone to developing arthritis.
Infection: Although uncommon, conditions causing an infection within the joint capsule can damage tissue and cartilage progressing the disease.
How do I know if my pet has arthritis?
Dogs may develop signs of
- Stiffness, especially when rising from a lying or sitting position.
- Reluctancy to go for walks or lag behinds when walking.
- Difficulties going up or down stairs.
- Aggression or pain when touched in affected areas.
- Shaking or trembling of the limbs.
- Grunting when changing positions
Cats may display signs of
- Reluctances to jump, run or play.
- Reduction of self-grooming.
- A stiff gait or a limp when walking.
- Aggression when handled.
What are the options?
What can you do?
There are a range of treatment options available for your pet, these include;
1Natural Remedies such as fish oil, Sasha’s blend, Pernaease powder and Technyflex can be purchased over the counter and can be used alone or in conjunction with prescription medication.
An excellent 100% natural supplement for arthritis or joint problems in animals is the Technyflex range. Using only Green lipped mussel powder with no fillers whatsoever, this powerful anti-inflammatory and pain reliever is sustainably grown on mussel farms in New Zealand; each batch is tested for high levels of active ingredients and there are no known side effects, so is totally safe and effective for long term use. It is an excellent natural alternative to NSAID without the potential kidney and liver contraindications. We use exactly the same product on humans so that you can be sure of the high quality and efficacy of these products for your pets. It comes in capsule or loose powder form and is readily eaten by most cats and dogs. Technyflex is dose dependant meaning the more you take, the more pain relief and anti-inflammatory effect you get. Therefore the dose can be varied depending on severity of symptoms and daily challenges such as hard work or cold weather. This product has a long history of efficacy and is registered with the Aust Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority.
Specific Diets like Hills J/D food is scientifically designed with an ideal balance of nutrients to promote healthy joints. This food can only be purchased at Veterinary Clinics. Contact us at Familypet Vet08 83703500(Coromandel Valley) a=or 83238522 (Mclaren Vale)
TLC( Tender Loving Care)– Ensure your loved one has a warm, padded bed out of the harsh elements. Cold weather affects the severity of osteoarthritis and lying on a cold, hard surface will only make the symptoms of the disease worse.
If you believe your pet may be experiencing osteoarthritis, come in and see our friendly staff for tips on how to ensure the comfort of your four-legged friend this winter.
What can Familypet Vet do?
Cartrophen Injections. Cartrophen is a disease modifying osteoarthritis drug.
Its actions include:
- Inhibiting enzymes that breakdown cartilage
- Stimulating the production of lubricant and cartilage molecules
- Improves blood circulation to arthritic tissues, thus improving nutrition to the joint
- Stimulates protein production which assist blocking free radicals.
Cartrophen is given in a course of 4 weekly injections. Follow up single booster injections can be given by a nurse at a frequency suited to your pet, usually every 3 months.
Anti-inflammatories. Painkillers such as Previcox can be prescribed after consultation with the Veterinarian to help control the pain and inflammation symptoms associated with arthritis. Repeat prescriptions can be supplied over the counter if 6-monthly health check-ups are being undertaken.
NB: Please don’t give human pain killer tablets to your pets as these can be very toxic, especially to cats.
Where to go from here
If you believe your pet may be experiencing osteoarthritis, come in and see our friendly staff so we can design a winter warming arthritis plan for your fury friend.
If you have questions regarding any product mentioned in this article please contact 83238522 to speak to the lovely staff at McLaren Vale
or 83703500 to speak to the wonderful staff at Coromandel Valley.
Our pets give us so much, let’s ensure they have a comfortable, pain free time this winter.