Veterinary information on Arthritis 2 in pets


Mission Veterinary Clinic and Animal Emergency Hospital

ARTHRITIS is also known by the medical term “Osteoarthritis.” It is a disease resulting in degeneration of
one or more joints of the body.Reasons joints become affected with arthritis include injury, birth defect s resulting in malformation, and aging. As a result of whatever the cause, the slick surface of the bones in the joint (cartilage) is worn away exposing the underlying bone which is much rougher. As inflammation from the roughened edges rubbing within the joint, the joint capsule (lining of the joint), ligaments, and adjacent muscles become irritated and scarred.
The above description of the development of arthritis makes it easy to see why your pet may not want to do
simple ordinary things such as running, jumping, or even walking in severe cases. The pet may first appear stiff on the afflicted leg. As it progresses over time, a limp may become noticeable and eventually your pet will have difficulty in rising from a lying or sitting position.
Signs of Osteoarthritis include:
1. Lameness
2. Hot, swollen joints
3. Pain, especially with exercise
4. Decreased “range of motion” (shorter steps)
5. Decrease in muscle size
Treatment of Osteoarthritis attempts to:
1. Reduce pain
2. Prevent or slow down degeneration of the bone
3. Restore function as much as possible
Diagnosis of Osteoarthritis includes:
1. History
2. Physical examination
3. Radiographs (xrays)
4. Joint fluid analysis
Treatment for Osteoarthritis may include the following:
Rest; keep warm and dry; use soft bedding, such as “egg crate mattress”
Weight loss to decrease overall pressure on joints Antiinflammatory drugs
Drugs to increase joint fluid Nonweight bearing exercise (such as swimming) to maintain muscle strength
and range of motion. Surgical correction (knee replacement, joint removal, joint replacement, etc.)
There is NO CURE for OsteoarthritisBUT Life CAN be Made MORE COMFORTABLE!!!!It is important to REEVALUATE regularly to evaluate effectiveness of treatment and progression of disease.

For more information call Mission Veterinary Clinic and Animal Emergency Hospital in Granada Hills at 818-363-8143

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