Understanding Senior Pet Arthritis

Pet Arthrits in Temperance: Dog lying on grass

Pets of all ages can suffer from arthritis, but the condition is much more prominent in senior dogs. Cold weather can exacerbate the pain and stiffness that are characteristic of arthritis, making it even more difficult for your pet to get around like they usually do. One of the problems with pet arthritis is that we often assume it is simply old age, and not debilitating joint pain, that is slowing our companions down. If you don’t know what telltale signs to look for, your pet could spend many more days in pain before their condition becomes too pronounced to ignore.

Signs Your Pet May Have Arthritis

Some of the most common signs of arthritis in pets are:

  • Difficulty standing
  • Moving more slowly during walks
  • Spending more time sleeping/laying around
  • Having accidents in the house
  • Restlessness
  • Whining/whimpering
  • Difficulty jumping onto a higher or lower surface (getting into the car, jumping onto the couch or going down the stairs)
  • Uncharacteristic aggression
  • Insomnia
Pet Arthritis in Temperance: Brown dog looking at camera

How Does Arthritis Develop?

Arthritis can develop from a variety of conditions, including:

  • Normal wear and tear over time
  • Obesity
  • Ligament injuries
  • Hip or elbow dysplasia
  • Luxating patella
  • Injury
  • Conformational issues (the natural structure of the limbs)
  • Congenital defects

Any of these conditions can result in unstable joints. Constantly moving and placing weight on an unstable joint will gradually wear down the cartilage that provides cushion between the bones. When the cartilage wears away completely, the bones begin to rub against each other. This leads to painful, inflamed joints that make it difficult for your pet to stand and walk.

Ways We Can Treat Yours Pet's Arthritis

At Temperance Animal Hospital, there are several treatment options we can provide to reduce your pet’s discomfort and increase their mobility.

Laser Therapy: Our therapeutic laser heals damaged tissue at the cellular level, decreasing pain and inflammation. Chronic conditions like arthritis usually require multiple treatment sessions for the best results, and laser therapy works well in conjunction with medications and supplements.

NSAID Therapy: NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as Deramaxx, Rimadyl, and Galliprant are designed to safely reduce pain and inflammation in dogs.

Movoflex Joint Supplements: Movoflex chews provide joint support and are a great option for dogs with restricted diets. They are gluten, sugar, shellfish, and salt-free and have proven effective at reducing pain and helping pets become more active again.

Pet Arthritis in Temperance: Cat relaxing on a sofa

Start Your Pet on the Road to Treatment

By reducing your pet’s pain, you’re also helping to increase their mobility. When your pet spends much of their time sitting or laying down, they run the risk of gaining weight and putting greater pressure on their joints, further exacerbating their arthritis. Fortunately, arthritis can be managed very effectively with timely diagnosis and treatment. Contact our team at (734) 847-6751 to discuss how we can help your pet enjoy a pain-free life!