Osteoarthritis is a very common degenerative disease of cartilage in joints as a result of wear and tear usually over a long period of time and therefore most commonly seen in older animals.
However, it is also seen in younger animals secondary to congenital joint diseases and trauma to ligaments. The signs are generally reluctance to exercise, stiffness, lameness and difficulty in jumping.
X-rays are necessary to make a definitive diagnosis and to identify any primary causes which if treatable can help to slow the progression of the arthritis. We can refer you to a veterinary hospital for this procedure if necessary.
Management of arthritis to maximise quality of life, involves maintaining an ideal weight. Keeping up small, frequent levels of exercise; swimming is ideal if possible. Medications for arthritis usually involve a balance of particular dietary supplements and other pain relief medications, depending on the individual animal.
We've also written further information on our blog about arthritis in cats and dogs.
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