Matamata Veterinary Services | Latest News

Latest News

Don’t let your friends suffer this winter

May 15, 2017

With winter approaching we are starting to see our older patients slowing down. The most common cause for decreased mobility in older pets is osteoarthritis.

Arthritis is extremely common in our pets, affecting 1 in 5 dogs and 3 in 10 cats. Arthritis in pets is similar to that seen in people, caused by a degeneration of the joint where the cartilage is worn away leading to inflammation and pain.


Signs that dogs may show:

  • Limp, or show stiffness, especially when getting up after resting
  • Reluctance to play and walk
  • Behavioural changes, reduced interaction with people or aggression
  • Have difficulty getting into the car or have trouble climbing stairs
  • Cold and damp weather increase the pain and stiffness


Signs that cats may show:

  • Use a chair or stool to jump up on table or couch
  • Play less frequently and spend more time sleeping
  • Hesitant or slow to climb stairs
  • Hesitant to jump off high surfaces

It is not possible to cure arthritis, but there are many ways to help manage and treat, that substantially improve the pain and quality of life. Providing a soft deep bed in a warm area and maintaining ideal body weight are easy ways to provide relief. Swimming dogs is a great way to provide exercise without overstressing the joints and can help with weight loss. Regular moderate exercise is beneficial because it helps maintain muscles and flexibility.


Medications such as chondroitin, glucosamine, deer velvet and shark cartilage can help repair joint cartilage and prevent further damage. Pain relief medications help improve your pet’s quality of life and improve movement.


If you think your pet shows any of the signs above, please don’t hesitate to get some advice on how best to make them more comfortable and mobile.