Arthritis Management

If your pet is slowing down or having difficulty rising to a standing position, it may be more than just old age. Arthritis, or osteoarthritis, is a degenerative joint disease that affects dogs and cats in much the same way it affects people. As many as 1 in 5 dogs in the United States suffer from arthritis. Some pets with arthritis exhibit obvious signs of joint pain, while other pets are better at concealing their discomfort. Recognizing the signs of arthritis may not always be easy for pet owners, but we are here to help.

Our skilled veterinarians at West Los Angeles Veterinary Group understand that pet arthritis can be a debilitating condition. Our goal is to educate our clients on the disease, help identify the symptoms of arthritis pain, and develop the most appropriate treatment plan for the individual patient.

Causes of Arthritis in Pets

Arthritis occurs when the cartilage that protects the articular surface of a bone breaks down. As a result, the joint becomes swollen and painful. Primary arthritis takes place over time through general wear and tear of an otherwise healthy joint. This is most commonly seen in middle-aged and geriatric patients. Secondary osteoarthritis occurs with trauma/orthopedic injuries, conformational problems, or congenital defects. Examples of conditions that cause secondary arthritis include:

  • Cruciate ligament injuries
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Luxating patellas

Obesity also increases your pet’s risk of developing arthritis. Maintaining pets at a healthy weight is crucial in managing this disease.

Common Signs of Arthritis in Pets

Symptoms that may indicate your pet is suffering from orthopedic pain include:

  • Slow to rise, or difficulty rising to a standing position
  • Trouble jumping into the car or onto furniture
  • Slowing down on walks
  • Spending more time lying down with reluctance to get up
  • Inappropriate urination and/or defecation
  • Restlessness/pacing
  • Whining
  • Excessive panting (in dogs)
  • Aggression
  • Insomnia

Treating Arthritis in Pets

At our clinic, we tailor arthritis treatment to each individual patient. A multi-modal approach usually offers the best results. Here at West LA Veterinary Group, we offer several treatment options which include:

  • Prescription medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDS)
  • Supplements made with only the highest grade ingredients
  • Companion Therapy Laser
  • Adequan®, an injectable disease-modifying osteoarthritis drug
  • Diets specifically formulated for joint health

If you would like to schedule an exam for your pet and discuss the arthritis treatment options available, please give us a call at (310) 478-5915.