Struggling to get up? Got a bit of a hobble? Learn more about the different ways we can manage osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease or arthritis, commonly affects older cats and dogs and can impact significantly on your pet’s quality of life. Common signs include stiffness, muscle wastage, a loss of mobility, pain, lameness, reluctance to get up or lie down, and difficulty climbing stairs. Diagnosis of osteoarthritis is most commonly made based on a clinical history and physical examination, although X-rays may be useful in determining the extent of arthritis present.
The Development of Osteoarthritis
Patients with osteoarthritis are often stuck in a viscous cycle of deteriorating disease. The process begins with damage to the cartilage lining joints, causing joint inflammation and pain. Inflammation within the joint leads to further damage to the cartilage, whilst pain causes a reluctance to walk and exercise. As a result of inactivity, many patients experience muscle wastage which leads to reduced mechanical support for joints and thus more pain. From here, the cycle continues and osteoarthritis worsens gradually with time.
Management of osteoarthritis is multimodal; we combine several treatments to address different factors contributing towards the vicious cycle of osteoarthritis.