WHAT IS ARTHRITIS?
Arthritis is a disease condition affecting the joints. The cartilage lining the joint is worn down, causing pain. The symptoms of arthritis can be:
- Pain or stiffness when getting up or down;
- Your pet cannot climb steps anymore;
- “Laziness” on walks may be arthritic pain
Generally arthritis is worse at the start of the day or after resting. Gentle exercise may lessen the stiffness
Treatment can involve the following:
- Anti-inflammatory medications to relieve pain and stiffness. This usually gives quick improvement but not long term because it does not help heal the damaged cartilage.
- Pentosan injections as detailed below
- Weight loss if appropriate will lessen the stress on the joints and decrease ongoing damage.
- Changes to the pets exercise regime. Stressful exercise will aggravate the arthritis (e.g. jumping, running / hunting as with vigorous games) Walking and swimming are the best exercise to strengthen the muscles with the least stress on the joints
These act to protect the joint cartilage by –
- Limiting cartilage deterioration;
- Promoting new cartilage formation;
- Thickening the joint fluid – thus acting as a better lubricant;
- Improving blood supply to the joint, in turn helping it heal;
- By virtue of these actions, it provides pain relief for a much longer period of time;
- Treats all joints of the body at the same time
We recommend Pentosan as the main treatment for arthritis for both dogs and cats. It will improve the joints of all affected pets, however some show more obvious relief of pain, dependant upon the severity of the arthritis. A course of 4 once-weekly injections is required to start the “healing”. A booster injection every 3 to 4 months is suggested to combat the effects of further “wear and tear” of the joints. Your vet may also recommend to have some “arthritis tablets” on hand to give on the occasional day when your pet appears to be particularly stiff or sore. However, if stiffness becomes more constant then it is best to contact the clinic about further treatment.