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Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and caldron bubble… Paw Print

Osteoarthritis In Animals | Lilydale Vet | Veterinary Care | Image
Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and caldron bubble…

Let’s find a magic potion for creaky joints!

Sadly, there is no simple, instant, magic cure for osteoarthritis. But there are a lot of treatment options and small changes that together can give your suffering cat or dog huge relief. Remember with osteoarthritis the cartilage in the joints is damaged and is getting destroyed. We have to protect this cartilage, try and rebuild it and take inflammation away in the joints. Building up lean muscle to take some of the load off the joints is also a huge benefit.

Step 1.

Protection starts by making the load on the joints less. Yes, I am saying the 10 letter word. “Weightloss!” A small reduction in weight has a huge impact on pain. This won’t be easy for you or your pet, but we can help. We don’t want you to just starve your pet after all. A lot of research and money has been allocated to develop effective weight-loss diets for pets. These diets reduce your pet’s weight without making them feel hungry or causing muscle wastage. Combining this with a tailored light exercise program is step one. Remember, strong muscles support a weak joint.

A tailored Rehabilitation program for your pet is also a fantastic way to aid weightloss, increase fitness, improve muscle strength and comfort. Pet’s don’t have to be injured to need rehab! Speak to your vet about how to get this ball rolling.

Step 2.

Next, we will need to improve the cartilage that is left. This can be done through a series of injections with Pentosan. These injections are given under the skin, the same as we give vaccinations. They help new cartilage form, will increase lubricating joint fluid AND it will treat all the joints in the body at the same time! I must admit this sounds a bit like magic doesn’t it? We will also start with a joint supplementation to provide the Pentosan with building blocks so that it can perform this joint modification process.

Step 3.

And now we are ready to take inflammation away. This both helps preserve the cartilage that is left and provides pain relief. There are a combination of ways to do this. Firstly, the pentosan injections and joint supplements mentioned above both have anti-inflammatory properties. Depending on the severity, sometimes pain relief drugs are necessary. However, there is now also a drug free pain relief option…… Laser therapy! (Click here to learn more about Laser Therapy).

Step 4.

Lifestyle changes. Are there still pets in Melbourne that sleep outside in Winter? Well, they shouldn’t, Melbourne can get absolutely brutally cold in winter. Those old cats and dogs should have soft beds at a temperature that is comfortable for their owners. Yes, keep them inside! In my opinion.

Step 5.

Regenerative medicine. What if we could turn back time? Undo the damage that’s been done? Well, you can. Through Regenerative Medicine. Platelet Rich Plasma and Stem Cell procedures are the way of the future. They provide proven, long-lasting, healing and pain relief utilising your pet’s own cells. Why not book a chat with your vet to discuss these innovative treatments?

Busting Myths

The biggest myth of all that needs debunking is: “Pet arthritis does not need treatment”

Arthritis does not have a cure. However, doing nothing about it is a welfare concern. We hear it too often; “They’re walking around and not crying in pain, so they must be fine”. Arthritis causes chronic pain, which can lead to poor quality of life. Dogs are pack animals and will only vocalise in pain if they are in severe pain. Veterinary medicine has advanced in leaps and bounds in the past decade and now there are many treatment options that can help alleviate the pain and manage progression of the disease. Consult with your family vet to confirm the correct diagnosis of arthritis and to rule out anything more sinister before pursuing treatment. Not all treatment options are for everyone, but some are better than none! So have a chat with your vet about which options would work best for you and your pet.

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