Happy Tails = Healthy Joints

Joint disease related to osteoarthritis can affect dogs and cats of any
age. Joint disease can be due to many causes including congenital
(“born with it” or breed-related) defects, genetically-related degenerative
changes such as hip dysplasia or elbow dysplasia, traumatic cause
(ligament tears, etc), or obesity.

There are many options available to both manage pain and help slow the progression of arthritis.  Starting pets known to have degenerative
osteoarthritic changes  on joint supplements, developing an appropriate physical rehabilitation program, and incorporating holistic practices such as acupuncture, chiropractic care, herbal pain management supplements, and laser therapy can help control pain and reduce the need for medication, which over the long-term often causes stress to internal organs. Keeping pets at a lean body mass will also significantly slow osteoarthritic changes, or, conversely, obese pets are more likely to develop degenerative joint changes at an earlier age due to the excess stress obesity puts on their joints.  Managing pain in pets with traumatic joint disease will reduce stress on the remaining limbs

Screening puppies for breed-related changes at an early age can allow
for surgical correction of certain conditions, like hip dysplasia, before
degenerative changes (osteoarthritis) are seen in the joint.

Joint disease is markedly under diagnosed in cats but they are
susceptible to many of the same diseases found in dogs, including hip dysplasia.
Cats are very subtle at showing signs of pain, but the most common symptom is
decreased activity, which owners often think is just “old age.”  Many of
the pain control options available to dogs are also available to our
feline friends.

Our goal at Mountainview Animal Hospital is to work with owners to
tailor a plan for their individual pet’s needs, and in turn, improve longevity
and provide the best quality of life for that pet.

– Dr. Bridget Landon