As with people, pets develop wear and tear on their joints as they get older. This can lead to a condition called osteoarthritis, which is a degenerative joint disease that causes pain, swelling, stiffness, and problems with mobility. Our veterinarian at Belleview West Animal Hospital in Littleton, CO, can provide treatment for your pet’s arthritis to help reduce the pain and other symptoms.
The Symptoms of Arthritis in Pets
Arthritis generally occurs in dogs and cats over the age of eight. Your pet may exhibit greater reluctance to exercise or go for long walks due to arthritis. The animal may refuse to jump up as it once did on the sofa or bed. Your pet may spend more time sleeping. There is often weight gain due to the lack of exercise. You may notice difficulty getting up from a lying position or problems climbing stairs. The joints may appear swollen, and the animal may lick the joint to soothe it. You may notice a few changes in behavior, such as greater irritability and an aversion to being touched.
Diagnosing Arthritis in Pets
Our veterinarian will take a medical history and carefully examine your pet’s health and check for signs of arthritis. You will be asked about the animal’s eating habits and behavior. We may decide to take an x-ray of the affected joint and blood tests. These tests will indicate the severity of the problem and what type of treatment will best help your pet.
Treatment for Pet Arthritis
Arthritis will worsen over time. Our veterinarian may recommend joint supplements in the early stages. If the animal appears to be experiencing discomfort, several veterinary pain medications are available to provide some relief. Cold laser therapy can also help manage the pain caused by arthritis. Surgery is sometimes recommended to remove the damaged tissue in a joint. Weight management is also an important part of relieving the symptoms of arthritis in pets.
Contact Belleview West Animal Hospital in Littleton, CO
Dr. Barnard and our team at Belleview West Animal Hospital are dedicated to providing superior veterinary care for our patients. Our animal clinic offers many services including wellness care, vaccinations, parasite prevention, surgery, diagnostics, emergency care, and more. Call Belleview West Animal Hospital today at (303) 979-1090 for an appointment if you suspect your pet has arthritis. You can also reach us through our website by using our online contact form.