Osteoarthritis and Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD) can effect pets of any age. It is a progressive and sometimes debilitating condition which causes joint and cartilage damage.
Approximately 40% of dogs silently suffer with chronic arthritis pain.
Symptoms of arthritis in dogs include:
- Slowing Down
- Limping after rest or activity
- Reluctance or hesitance to jump up or down from furniture, cars etc..
- Difficulty or reluctance to go up or down stairs
- Very slow or reluctance to sit or drop
- Not interested in in playing with toys, balls etc
- Reduced levels of activity, and interaction with family or other pets.
- Increased behavioural issues such as anxiety,
- Changes in mood
- Grumpy with other dogs or people
Causes for Arthritis in Dogs
- Abnormal development: Unfortunately conditions such as Elbow dysplasia, hip dysplasia which occur as a result of abnormal joint development from a young age.
- Joint injuries or disease such as Cruciate ligament disease
- Wear and tear. The joints may become damaged with age. .
- Obesity. Increased weight and obesity will make arthritis worse and progress faster. .
- Genetics. Some dog breeds have an increased risk of arthritis. This is due to abnormal development of their cartilage in particular their elbows and hips.
How do we Diagnose Arthritis in dogs?
A medical history and physical exam can help us determine if you cat has Arthritis. Signs we may find include
- Visible joint thickening, scarring and fibrosis
- Joint pain on examination
- Decreased range of motion/mobility
- Grating (scraping noise), also known as crepitus when the noted in moving joints.
- Swelling or Fluid in the joints, also called joint effusion
- Joint instability in cases of trauma such as cruciate ligament tears.
- Increased Muscle wastage, indicating reduced leg use
- Painful trigger point
X-rays Showing severe Hip Arthritis caused by Hip Dysplasia
- Injectable joint protectants. such as Synovan, which is a protein called Pentosan Polysulphate – This treatment helps relieve arthritic pain, improves, improves joint lubrication, and reduces inflammation.
- Beransa – is the latest Monoclonal Antibody biotherapy given as a monthly injection to reduce arthritis related joint pain. It is safe and proven to be incredibly effective in reducing chronic joint pain and has revolutionized how we manage these painful conditions. Read more about Beransa
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). NSAIDs can be added to a pain management plan if needed, providing there are no other underlying health issues such as kidney or liver disease.
- Stronger Pain Relief Medications – such as those used for neuropathic or nerve pain associated with spinal problems, or if non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are not appropriate or not sufficient.
- CBD OIL – There are many benefits of CBD oil and is something we have used successfully in a multimodal pain management plan. Common FAQ’s about CBD oil
- Laser therapy or photobiomodulation (PBMT). This noninvasive and painless treatment that can target specific joints that are painful. This type of treatment has been shown to ease pain and decrease inflammation.
- Weight Management
- Joint Supplements and diets can also play a vital role. We often recommend diets such as J/D prescription diet or Antinol which is a natural antinflammatory derived from green lipped mussels.
If your dog is showing signs of arthritis, we can certainly help determine the best treatment plan and to help improve their comfort.