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Arthritis is inflammation of a joint, which causes a lot of pain. The cartilage surrounding the inflamed joint becomes thin and eroded, resulting in bone grinding against bone. Sometimes the bone develops new spur shaped growths called osteophytes, which add to the pain and inflammation. Any joint can be affected but the common ones are hips, knees, elbows, shoulders and back.

Many of us are very familiar with arthritis in humans but are unaware that arthritis also affects dogs and cats. Of course, as the ageing process continues in your pet, the likelihood of arthritic changes causing discomfort increases. Some common signs of arthritis or joint pain in cats and dogs include:

Signs of arthritis:

  • Slower to get up after lying down
  • Stiffness, reluctance to go for a walk
  • Difficulty jumping e.g. into the car, or climbing stairs
  • Reduced stamina
  • Lameness

If your pet is exhibiting any of these signs, even intermittently, they are painful. A thorough physical exam and possibly x-rays will help us to assess your pet and implement a plan to decrease discomfort.

There are many nutritional supplements and medications that will aid us in our goal of increasing your pet’s quality of life.

Therapies may include:

  • Healthy diet and exercise to help maintain proper weight.
  • Working with your veterinarian to find a drug treatment that helps relieve the pain.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS): the most common form of pharmaceutical treatment for arthritis in dogs.
  • Dietary treatments, such as food containing either glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate or Omega fatty acids.
  • Prescription food has shown to help relieve the symptoms of arthritis in dogs.
  • A veterinarian-prescribed NSAID and dietary treatment that together may help decrease pain and disease progression.


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