Arthritis Care at Our Columbus Veterinary Clinic
Pets resemble people in so many ways, including, unfortunately, the ability to develop arthritis. If your pet is clearly having trouble getting around without pain, then you need to find out whether arthritis is the underlying problem and what can be done to help. Here at our Columbus veterinary clinic, Hamilton Road Animal Hospital, we can evaluate your pet's condition and provide a number of soothing options to help him regain function and comfort.
Understanding Arthritis in Pets
While some pets can develop a variety of joint problems, it's far more common for dogs and cats to experience osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a condition in which the cartilage inside a joint begins to deteriorate. This deterioration deprives the joint of its friction resistance, causing bones ends to rub together. Overgrowths called bone spurs may also develop in the joint. The result of this degeneration is inflammation, stiffness, and motion-related pain. Some of the telltale signs that your pet has arthritis include:
- Difficulty standing up or sitting up
- A refusal to jump or climb stairs
- Vocalizations of pain when your pet tries to move
- Limping or a wobbly gait
- Loss of interest in favorite games or other activities
- Muscle loss due to decreased mobility
Why do pets develop osteoarthritis? As in humans, the condition is a common side effect of aging. As years of wear and tear do progressive damage to the joints, particularly the weight-bearing joints, arthritis develops. Injuries such as a torn ACL in the knee can cause or hasten arthritis. Obesity can make joints wear out more quickly and aggravate joints already afflicted with arthritis.
A Variety of Treatment Options
The good news is that arthritis in pets can be managed through careful, skilled veterinary care. Our veterinary staff at Hamilton Road Animal Hospital, Dr. Turley and associates, can detect early signs of arthritis in the course of an annual (or for senior pets, twice-yearly) wellness exam. If X-rays and other diagnostics confirm a case of arthritis, we can work out a customized treatment plan to suit your pet's individual needs. Treatment methods may include:
- NSAIDs such as carprofen
- Steroids (in some situations)
- Nutritional supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate
- An anti-inflammatory or weight-loss diet
- Gentle exercise to ease pain and optimize flexibility
Talk to Our Columbus Veterinarian
Arthritis can be quite a burden for your beloved pet, but Hamilton Road Animal Hospital can help lighten that load. Call (614) 239-0027 today to schedule an appointment with our Columbus veterinarian!