Osteoarthritis is a common condition in both humans and dogs alike. As we age, we experience osteoarthritis in weight bearing joints such as knees, hips and elbows. The spine can also experience some arthritic change leading to discomfort and decreased mobility. Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease, is a progressive deterioration of the cartilage that surrounds, cushions and protects the joints. Common signs of arthritis include: decreased level of activity, difficulty getting up, and stiffness while walking. These symptoms of arthritis are worse in the early mornings, after lying down for a prolonged period of time, and during bouts of cold weather.

Slowing the Progression of Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis can be seen in a dog of any age, but is most commonly seen in older dogs, those who have a pre-existing condition such as hip dysplasia, or injuries such as fractures or ligament tears. Another primary cause of arthritis in dogs is obesity. With additional body weight, there is an increased stress on the joints, which leads to deterioration of the cartilage.

There is no cure for osteoarthritis in dogs, and the goal of treatment is to slow the process down and alleviate the patient’s pain. Fortunately, there are several beneficial treatments to help your dog maintain an active, healthy and comfortable lifestyle, even with osteoarthritis. Traditionally, treatment for arthritis has been focused on medication to relieve joint pain and inflammation. Some veterinarians also incorporate joint supplements, weight control, specially formulated diets and/or holistic herbs to give arthritic dogs more help; but medications alone cannot improve a dog’s strength or fitness level which directly affects mobility. Some consider rehabilitation a tool that is reserved for dogs recovering from orthopedic surgery or injury, but the principles of rehabilitation medicine are fairly universal. The overall goal is to improve comfort, joint motion, strength and endurance so you and your pet can enjoy more active years together.

Physical rehabilitation is a specialty with both veterinary professionals and human physical therapists working toward the overall improved care of pets.

Some of the different modalities for treatment include therapeutic ultrasound, cold or low-level laser therapy, electrical stimulation, therapeutic exercises, massage, and the underwater treadmill. Not every rehabilitation facility or veterinary hospital is going to offer all of the different modalities and equipment on the market. The most important piece of equipment is a pair of experienced hands.

By | Posted In In the News

Related Articles

MedVet Chicago becomes eighth Level I Veterinary Trauma Center

MedVet Chicago joins an elite group as the eighth hospital internationally to be certified by the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care (ACVECC) Board of Regents and Veterinary Committee on Trauma (VetCOT) as an official Level I Veterinary Trauma Center (VTC) and the only Level 1 VTC in Chicago. Hospitals receiving this unique distinction undergo an intensive application and verification process that requires the availability of board-certified specialists for consultation seven…

Read More

MedVet Expands Emergency Services to Mahoning Valley in Northeast Ohio

MedVet Medical & Cancer Centers for Pets is pleased to announce its expansion into Mahoning Valley in northeast Ohio with the addition of the After Hours Animal Emergency Clinic which is now called MedVet Mahoning Valley.  This partnership will provide local veterinarians continued support and access to emergency veterinary care in the greater Mahoning Valley community. “We are very excited to be expanding in the Mahoning Valley community,” said MedVet President, Dr. Eric…

Read More

Dogs Injured in Car Chase Through Neighborhood Receive Care at MedVet New Orleans

CBS News: Dogs injured during car chase through neighborhood face painful recovery. Read More…

Read More

MedVet Expands Emergency Veterinary Care to Dallas

Dallas, Texas: December 14th, 2016. MedVet Medical & Cancer Centers for Pets is pleased to announce its expansion into Texas with the addition of Emergency Animal Clinic, Inc. which includes three emergency veterinary hospitals in the greater Dallas area. As of today, each location will become part of the MedVet family of hospitals and renamed as follows: the Greenville location is now MedVet Dallas, the Richardson location is now MedVet Richardson, and the Uptown Dallas…

Read More

MedVet Medical & Cancer Centers for Pets Announces New Mobile Friendly Web Site

Columbus, Ohio: December 11th, 2016. MedVet Medical & Cancer Centers for Pets announces the re-launch of the organization’s website at www.medvetforpets.com as the preeminent source for access to veterinary emergency and specialty services to their network of 12 hospitals. The objectives of the new website are to integrate all locations while providing an easy location finder, to create an enhanced presence on the Internet for MedVet’s 24/7 emergency service and full complement of veterinary…

Read More