There are several things we can do to help our arthritic pet be more comfortable and confident in their day to day life;
Effectively managing weight is essential, overweight pets find it more difficult to move around as this puts extra strain on their joints
Arthritic pets will be doing less exercise so it is important to modify their diet to reflect this; you may need to reduce the amount of food and treats that are given
Our nurses can guide you and your pet on healthy weight loss and weight loss aids
Arthritis dogs will find exercise much harder, but also some dogs will run through their pain and discomfort when chasing balls so just because they can, doesn’t mean they should!
Some tips to for exercise management:
Diet and nutrition
There are a variety of diets on the marked to aid with mobility which include; Royal Canin Mobility, Purina Joint Mobility and Hills J/D. These foods are rich in supplements that support joint health.
Alternatively, you can add supplements to your pet’s normal food. These supplements are high in Glucosamine and Omega oils to support joint health. Supplements usually come in capsules that can be sprinkled onto your dogs food, some options are: Nutraquin, Seraquin and Yumove Advance.
Currently, there is limited scientific evidence on the efficacy of these supplements, but in human medicine it has been reported that they are beneficial, so there is no harm giving them to your four legged friend. Ideally, they should be given for at least 4-6 weeks before evaluating whether they may be making an impact on your pet’s joint health, however even then, the signs may not be that obvious to us.
There are various anti-inflammatory medications available that are incredibly useful for managing discomfort. Most are given on a daily basis and need to be given regularly to ensure their efficacy.
It is possible that these types of medication can affect liver and kidney function, therefore before starting these, your vet may want to take a blood sample to check the liver and kidney values to ensure they are working optimally first. These should be repeated every 6-12 months.
Librela is a Monoclonal Antibody injection which is given by subcutaneous injection once a month. It is a biological therapy that works like your dog’s own immune system. It targets and neutralises a protein that stimulates the pain associated with arthritis. it is very safe, even in patients with other illness like liver and kidney disease or those who get an upset tummy with anti-inflammatory medication.
See our Librela page for more information.
Joint injections are a more novel therapy – we can refer you to a specialist to discuss these options at a referral centre. Joint injections involve injecting hylauronic acid or stem cells into the joint (this requires an anaesthetic). There are quite a few specialists which are all about an hour away from the practice.
Other ways of managing pain
There are other medications available to help manage pain related to arthritis. Often, a multimodal approach to medicine is the most effective way to control discomfort.
Cartrophen or Adequan injections can also be used to help with arthritis (pentosan polysulphate or polysulphated glycosaminoglycans)
Please contact us if you think these options may be needed and we will be able to help!
There are many options available within this field which include;
If you would like to explore these therapies, we recommend that you speak with a vet first who could then appropriately refer you to a therapist.
If you would like more information, you can visit the Canine Arthritis Management website.