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Arthritis

Definition

Arthritis is a condition resulting in painful joints. It is extremely common in older pets, especially the larger breeds of dogs.  Any joint can be affected with arthritis. The most commonly affected joints include the hips, knees, shoulders, elbows, and vertebral column (back).

Symptoms

  • Lack of Appetite
  • Reluctance to Walk
  • Reluctance to Climb Stairs
  • Reluctance to Play
  • Limping
  • Lagging Behind on Walks
  • Difficulty in Rising From a Resting Position
  • Crying Aloud When the Pain is Severe

Diagnoses

Arthritis may be a result of an injury or may develop for unknown reasons. Frequently it is progressive (worsens with time). It may develop slowly or quickly. Often it begins with occasional sore days, often associated with weather changes or strenuous exercise. Clinical signs in most pets are often worse when they first get up and start to move. Overweight pets are most susceptible.

Treatment

Other diseases must be ruled out before a diagnosis of osteoarthritis can be made.  Potential rule-outs include disc disease, ligament tears, bone infections, and nerve damage.  X-rays are often necessary to obtain the correct diagnosis.

There is no need to let your pet suffer the intensive pain that can be attributed to arthritis.  Strategies for treatment of arthritis may be either proactive or reactive. Proactive involves therapy, which increases the body’s ability to cope with the problem. Such things as drugs to improve and strengthen body mass and drugs to increase the joint fluid (lubrication) within the affected joints are available. Reactive treatment includes such things as drugs designed to minimize pain. Pets do not tolerate human painkillers such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and Tylenolä as well as people. Recent advancements in drugs for treating arthritis in pets have greatly enhanced our ability to control the pain of osteoarthritis. One such new drug is Rimadyl.

It is important to work closely with your veterinarian to minimize side effects of these drugs.  Periodic comprehensive physical examinations and laboratory screening is necessary to monitor the body’s response to any long-term medication.  

Prevention

The number one cause of malnutrition in pets is OBESITY.  Overfeeding, either too much food or food too rich is the major culprit. Older pets may need no more than 50% of the calories of a young, growing pet. Regular, moderate exercise is very important in keeping joints working properly. Over-exertion can make the condition worse. Swimming is great exercise for arthritis pets.

Want to learn even more? Here are some veterinary approved resources:

Testimonials

Mesa Veterinary Clinic

5355 N. Mesa El Paso, TX 79912

Day Open Close
Monday 8:00 am 6:00 pm
Tuesday 8:00 am 6:00 pm
Wednesday 8:00 am 6:00 pm
Thursday 8:00 am 6:00 pm
Friday 8:00 am 6:00 pm
Saturday 10:00 am 2:00 pm
Sunday Closed Closed

Paws N' Hooves Mobile Veterinary Services

Day Open Close
Tuesday 8am- 4pm Pets Barn 9807 Dyer
Wednesday 8am- 4pm Pets Barn 9807 Dyer
Thursday 9am- 5pm 5500 N Desert Blvd
Friday 8am- 4pm Pets Barn 11100 Sean Haggerty
Saturday 9:30am- 4pm Pets Barn 1790 Zaragoza
Sunday Closed Closed

Paws N' Hooves Thursday location is currently at our Mesa Clinic from 7:30 am- 5:30pm and will be moving to Pet's Barn at 5500 Desert Blvd from 9-5 pm starting 8/3/17. At that time mobile prices will no longer be honored at Mesa Veterinary Clinic.

*Last sign-in taken 30 minutes before close.

Mesa Veterinary Clinic

5355 N Mesa El Paso TX, 79912

Day Open Close
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
8:00 am 8:00 am 8:00 am 8:00 am 8:00 am 10:00 am Closed
6:00 pm 6:00 pm 6:00 pm 6:00 pm 6:00 pm 2:00 pm Closed

Paws N' Hooves Mobile Veterinary Services

Day Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Hours 8am- 4pm 8am- 4pm 9am- 5pm 8am- 4pm 9:30am- 4pm
Location

Pets Barn

9807 Dyer

Pets Barn

9807 Dyer

Pets Barn

5500 N Desert Blvd.

Pets Barn

11100 Sean Haggerty

Pets Barn 

1790 Zaragoza

*Last sign-in will be taken 30 minutes before closing.