Canine Arthritis Management
What is arthritis?
Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints, and in the same way humans can develop it as they grow older, pets are also susceptible. Arthritis is just as uncomfortable for animals as it is for humans, and the most common form in cats, and especially dogs, is osteoarthritis (OA).
In healthy joints the bone surfaces are covered with a smooth layer of cartilage. This cartilage is lubricated with joint fluid, which allows the bone surfaces to glide over each other with minimal friction. In dogs with arthritis, the cartilage becomes damaged creating worn, uneven bone surfaces, this results in them rubbing against each other when moving around. It is this friction which contributes to the pain and swelling in an arthritic joint. Whilst typically seen in older dogs, the condition can develop at any time, and it is commonly worse in overweight & unfit dogs.
Physiotherapy and a weight management programme can help to relieve some of the pressure on the joints, by maximising the range of movement and fitness of the muscles.
How do we treat arthritis?
At Physio – Vet, we see over 70 arthritis patients at the clinic each week, and treat them using a multi-modal canine arthritis management programme for managing & improving cat and dog osteoarthritis.
As part of this programme we develop a bespoke plan, incorporating pain management, dietary advice, joint improvement and exercise guidelines. Alongside this, we provide help sheets for owners to support their pet.
Our method of therapeutic ultrasound is particularly good for tissue swelling and breaking down scar tissue, as well as stimulating blood flow and reducing inflammation. It is a great treatment on its own or to complement other therapies your pet may be receiving. Laser and PEMFT are also excellent treatments for arthritis. More resistance cases may need further investigation and may benefit from stem cells, platelet rich plasma (PRP) and hydrogel.