What is Arthritis?

Arthritis is a degenerative joint disease whereby pain and stiffness develops as a result of wear and tear on the joints. In the normal joint the bony surfaces which meet and rub together are covered by a thin layer of cartilage which allows smooth movement of the joint. The moving parts of the joint are encased in a bag (capsule) filled with synovial fluid which acts as a lubricant and provides the joint with nutrition. Wear and tear may reach a stage where areas of cartilage become worn, exposing the underlying bone. This can cause pain and impaired movement. The joints most susceptible are the hips, knees and back. It is not possible to cure arthritis but it is vital to help relieve the painful and debilitating nature of this disease.

What are the Signs of Arthritis?

Early action means treatment will be more effective and you should keep an eye out for clues that may indicate increased pain and stiffness such as:

  • Difficulty in rising after rest
  • Difficulty in climbing stairs or jumping into the car
  • Limping or stiffness
  • Change in toilet behaviour
  • Reduced sociability or appetite
  • Licking or self-injury

It is often only after the pain has been relieved that you realize how stiff your pet had become.

 If I suspect Arthritis in my pet what should I do?

Examination by the vet is often enough to diagnose arthritis and to identify which jots are affected. Sometimes x-rays or manipulation under sedation or general anaesthesia are also required to confirm the diagnosis. Once an accurate diagnosis has been made a treatment protocol can be determined.

How can I treat Arthritis and Alleviate the Signs?

The following measures can be undertaken to improve arthritis in your pet and the resultant pain (treatment for cats and dogs may differ):

  • Healthy diet and weight loss: A common exacerbating factor in arthritis is obesity, therefore weight loss in obese animals is vital.
  • Regular gentle exercise: This helps maintain joint mobility. Swimming is a great low-impact form of exercise.
  • Comfort at home: A thick warm bed away from cold air-conditioners.
  • Medications and supplements to aid cartilage re-growth: Ask the vet about injections, supplements and special diets that can help your pet.
  • Pain relief: In more serious cases certain pain killers can be prescribed by us for short or long-term use.

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Or 020 7714 1144


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Address: Tha Deua, Km 3 between RMA and Rashmi Hotel

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