Matamata Veterinary Services | Latest News

Latest News

Osteoarthritis

July 4, 2012

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that occurs commonly in older dogs, which leads to pain, stiffness and reduction in flexibility. During the colder months the effects of osteoarthritis are worse, as is the case now during winter.

Signs can greatly vary and include

  • Favouring of a limb
  • Walking carefully and slowly
  • Less active
  • Less able to jump up, ie into the car
  • Be irritable and/or nervous
  • Be very stiff following rest or sleep

There are many different management and treatment options that need to be tailored to the degree of arthritis and pain the animal is in.

Management options include

  • Keeping weight at an optimum level
  • Short frequent walks every day, no long walks once a week
  • A comfortable supportive soft bed
  • A warm environment to sleep in

Treatment options depend on the degree of arthritis that is occurring and level of pain. We feel strongly that all pets with arthritis deserve some pain relief.

Ben is a 12 year old Labrador with significant arthritis. About 2 months ago Ben’s owner was advised and changed from one type of pain relief he was being given intermittently, to a tablet that is given once a month. His owner reports that he thinks Ben has gained an extra year of life with the improvement in quality of life that has occurred since the change.