Arthritis & Mobility Care

Arthritis & Mobility Care

Arthritis occurs when cartilage that cushions a joint wears away faster than it can be replaced causing exposure to bone and nerve endings. This leads to pain, inflammation and reduced mobility. Arthritis is generally caused by wear and tear as our pets age. It is much more common in senior pets but young pets can suffer from it too. Other risk factors include genetics, trauma and infection. Excessive weight will cause more pressure on the joints increasing the risk of arthritis.

General signs of arthritis include stiffness, lameness and reduced activity. Cats may show difficulty grooming and jumping on or off surfaces, whereas dogs may lag behind in walks, be stiff to rise, and show signs of discomfort when touched in affected areas.

Arthritis is not curable but early management with improved nutrition, anti-inflammatory drugs and nutraceuticals/supplements can help slow the progression of the disease and reduce discomfort providing a better quality of life. Acupuncture can be used to treat osteoarthritis as it relieves pain and acts as an anti-inflammatory by improving  tissue blood flow, oxygenation, and removal of wastes and toxins. It is safe and can be used in conjunction with prescription medication.

We can help provide relief from discomfort with the following treatment options:

Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory drugs are clinically proven to be very effective in relieving pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis, musculoskeletal disorders and surgery. These medications can only be prescribed by your veterinarian after a detailed examination of your pet. Blood tests may be needed to determine whether or not your pet is healthy enough to be prescribed the medication. As with most medications your pet may experience some side effects which can include gastrointestinal upsets, diarrhoea, vomiting and change in appetite. It is crucial you let your vet know if your pet experiences any side effects whilst on any medication, but particularly NSAIDs.

There are many different over-the-counter supplements available at our hospitals that can be used as a preventative or to help manage and treat your pet’s joint problems. They contain ingredients to helps nourish the joints and relieve inflammation and pain. These supplements are safe to use and can be used in conjunction with other medications. They come in different forms such as food, powders, capsules, treats and chews which makes it easy to decide what best suits your pets tastes. For further information on supplements please speak to our friendly team of veterinary nurses and they can help you decide what product would best suit you and your pet.

Acupuncture is a painless and relatively inexpensive therapy than can be used in conjunction with the usual treatments, or on its own, after a diagnosis has been made. Most owners are worried about the pain from needles, however the majority of patients are completely unconcerned with them! Laser is a good option for the more sensitive points.
Patients with musculoskeletal conditions such as arthritis, delayed post-operative function and spinal issues can be very good candidates. Acupuncture can be a great adjunctive therapy for helping with old age-related joint discomfort.
Cats can be surprisingly good acupuncture patients too, not just dogs!

For more information please see our Acupuncture page, or speak with our staff.

Physiotherapy can be an invaluable complimentary therapy for mobility disorders in animals. Speak to our staff regarding your pets suitability for a physiotherapy referral.