Managing Arthritis in Pets with The Help from Our Veterinarian
Just like their human owners, pets can develop arthritis after an injury or in old age. As this condition develops, they are unable to engage in their daily activities. Over time, they may find it difficult to even get up out of bed and walk around without pain. Thankfully, our veterinarian at Best Care Animal Hospital, serving Tomball, Spring, and Houston, TX, can diagnose and treat arthritis in pets to keep them healthy and happy through the years.
Arthritis develops as the cartilage in the joint wears down and stops cushioning the bones. The resulting bone on bone friction causes swelling and pain that can make it hard to walk. Since the cartilage does not grow back, this condition steadily worsens until your pets are unable to walk normally.
You might notice changes in their mobility and behavior or just a subtle shift in their mood. As the pain worsens, they may start favoring a leg to minimize the weight put on the joint. They may also yelp or move away when touched around that area, indicating that they are experiencing a lot of discomfort. Eventually, many pets stop running and playing as the pain gets to be too much.
To determine if arthritis is causing your pets’ high pain levels, our veterinarian will perform a thorough physical examination and likely take some x-rays. The physical exam will let us assess your pets’ mobility levels and see if they are guarding the affected limb.
During this process, our vet will take your dog’s age, activity levels, and behaviors into account. Then, we will complete x-rays to look at the condition of the joint. Through those images, we can see if joint degeneration is occurring and at what level.
The severity of the joint degeneration will determine the best treatment for your pets. If they only have minor arthritis and can move around on their own accord, then diet and lifestyle changes may be the first step. By switching to high-quality food with omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, it is possible to decrease inflammation and lower pain levels. Severe arthritis, however, may respond better to prescription anti-inflammatories and physical therapy.
When to Visit Our Veterinarian
If your pets exhibit any of the signs of arthritis, schedule an appointment with our veterinarian at Best Care Animal Hospital, serving pets in Tomball, Spring, and Houston, TX. To find a convenient time and date to visit, simply call 281-251-0893. During the visit, our vet will assess the condition of your pets’ joints and determine if arthritis is causing their discomfort.