Top 9 Treatments for your Arthritic Dog or Cat

Google Maps location for Riverport Veterinary Hospital

Riverport Veterinary Hospital
1 Avoca Street
SA 5214

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08 8555 5690

Victor Central Veterinary Clinic
35 Crozier Road
Victor Harbor
SA 5211

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08 7522 4300


We seem to talk about arthritis a lot at this time of year.  And for good reason...

It’s amazing how the drops in temperature that we see during Autumn can cause a little bit of extra discomfort in joints that were otherwise coping ok.

So here’s a list of my top 9 things that you can do to help your arthritic dog or cat:

  1. Visit your vet!  Yep, that’s right; while general guidelines are great, tailoring an arthritis management plan to your pet is an art that your vet is highly skilled in as every patient is different.
  2. Pentosan Polysulphate injections.  Sounds fancy doesn’t it!  In actual fact we use these injections every day as the backbone of most of our tailored arthritis plans.  Products such as Cartrophen and Zydax help to preserve joint health and relieve the signs of osteoarthritis.  They are generally given as a series of 4 injections annually with boosters at regular intervals.  Most dogs and cats respond very well to these injections.
  3. Weight Management.  It’s pretty simple….if your pet is overweight he or she is putting more weight through the affected joint(s) which results in more pain and faster progression of the condition.  If you need a tailored weight loss program for your furry friend simply give us a ring.
  4. Regular ExerciseRegular is the key word here.  There’s no set amount of exercise that is right for every arthritic patient but as long as it is regular in nature (ie ideally the same length walk every day) they will cope with it better as well as maintaining good fitness to protect the joints.  We commonly see problems in dogs that don’t get out much during the week but run on the beach on a Saturday and can’t walk on the Sunday!
  5. Joint Health Supplements.  There are a million of these available for humans and dogs (which tells you that there is no product that is much better than all the others or we would all be on it!) .  Our recommendation is to pick something from a reputable brand that your dog or cat will eat!  Our favourites are 4cyte, Glyde and Jointguard
  6. Anti-Inflammatories and Pain Killers.  These can help significantly not just in reducing pain, but also in slowing down the progression of arthritis.  Obviously any prescription medication needs to be prescribed by your vet after a complete examination which may include blood testing and a discussion of the possible side effects. 
  7. X-rays.  X-rays of the affected joint(s) provide invaluable information on the type and severity of the arthritis and help us to tailor a plan. 
  8. Surgery, Stem Cells, Acupuncture, Laser Therapy.  These are specific treatments for specific problem and can be of huge benefit if used correctly.  Notice that they are a fair way down the list of treatment options and there are plenty of things that you can do yourself first!  

    Dr Casey treating Toblerone with Acupuncture

  9. Act EarlyThere is no cure for arthritis.  Dogs and cats whose owners act at the onset of arthritis and continue with lifelong management are infinitely better off as senior pets.  It can be hard to think about your 6 year old pooch with mild hip problems as a 15 year old retiree, but trust me, the more you do when the symptoms are mild the better off they will be in years time.

For more information read our previous blogs:

But My Dog Doesn't Play Football!

Could Your Dog Have a Hip Problem?

Is YOUR pet suffering from Arthritis?

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