Arthritis is a debilitating condition in pets. It tends to come on slowly and therefore is misinterpreted often by owners. The owner may assume it is a normal part of their pets' aging process that they slow down. It is in a dogs' nature not to show pain quickly, nor do they vocalize or cry easily. As a result, we often start managing arthritis in the later stages. By paying careful attention to your pets' behavior and having a veterinarian examine your pet, the diagnosis of Arthritis can be made in the early stages. A good physical examination with xrays can specifically identify which joints are involved. Reducing the inflammation is the primary goal. This can be accomplished by using a variety of treatments listed under Arthritis Therapy. By treating Arthritis early, there are many more options available and your pet will have a much improved quality of life.
Arthritis Treatment Options
Arthritis is a condition associated with inflammation in the joints. Arthritis can have many causes and it is generally a painful and chronic condition. There are various treatments available to manage the arthritic pet. Depending on severity of the condition and doctor's recommendation, these are the available options.
- Obesity can cause tremendous strain on already painful joints.
- A change in diet or an exercise routine may help to decrease weight.
- Increased low-impact exercise on a routine basis will help to maintain proper weight and keep joints functioning well.
- Nutritional supplements or nutraceuticals, such as Dasuquin, can be given daily by either flavored tablet or chew.
- It helps to maintain healthy joint cartilage structure and reduces the deterioration of the joint, however, it can take approximately 4-6 weeks to see results.
- There are no side effects to Dasuquin, so it is not required to perform bloodwork monitoring as with other treatment options available.
- This is an injectable drug that helps prevent the breakdown of joints and stimulates the repair process.
- Injections can be performed at Ehrlich Animal Hospital if assistance is needed, or they may be administered by you at home.
- It is a glucosamine derived drug and is very safe, therefore bloodwork monitoring is not required.
- This non-invasive therapy can help decrease inflammation and decrease pain. In addition, it helps improve nerve function and vascular activity in the affected area.
- The laser has a cumulative effect and can be used long term to help arthritis.
- Initial x-rays are necessary for the doctor to determine severity of the issue and best use of the laser. Due to its external use, bloodwork monitoring is not needed.
Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammarory Drug (NSAIDs):
- Examples of this are Rimadyl, Deramaxx and Metacam. They work by reducing inflammation in the joints, but they do not repair or protect joints like other options.
- NSAIDs are available in a chewable tablet, caplet or liquid. Effects are typically seen within hours.
- Side effects such as gastrointestinal upset may happen. Since these drugs are processed by the liver and/or kidneys, routine bloodwork every 6 months is required to monitor the effects of the drug when used long term.
- This is a new, state of the art, natural and fast acting option to alleviate arthritis.
- The procedure isolates your pets' own stem cells and then injects them into the problem joints. It only takes a day and your pet can go home with you that evening.
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