What is osteoarthritis?

The pet form of osteoarthritis is the same as the human-form – the human form – inflammation of the bones and cartilage within joints that then causes pain and discomfort.  It is a tell- tale sign that joints are suffering from wear and tear as the pet gradually deteriorates.
Osteoarthritis may: 
• Stop your pet from being active
• Change the way they walk, run or bear weight
• Interfere with the quality time you spend together
Pets are living longer than ever before. While this allows us to spend more quality time with our furry friends, it also leaves us with an extra responsibility to ensure they live comfortably as they age.

Here at Fur Life Vet we have created a great little online Quiz you can take to see if your dog is at risk of arthritis.

It asks a few simple questions about your dog and how he gets around.

It only take 5 minutes and just might help you identify if your dog is suffering in silence!

Arthritis and Dogs
Dogs show pain in many different ways, plus osteoarthritis signs can develop over a period of time. It can be hard to work out if these behaviours are a normal part of aging, or something more.
Is your dog:
  • Limping?
  • Having trouble rising?
  • Less active?
  • Seem uncomfortable when exercising?
  • Detached, irritable, or more dependent than previously?
  • Chewing or licking their joints?
Some dogs may display one or more of these symptoms, however many cases of canine arthritis go undetected. If you’ve noticed any of these symptoms, a visit to the vet will be the best gift you can give your pooch this year.
Arthritis and Cats
Osteoarthritis in cats is very subtle as symptoms may be more behavioural than physical.
Is your cat:
  • Reluctant to play or jump?
  • Irritable?
  • Seem uncomfortable when grooming?
  • Inactive?
  • Suffering from swollen joints?
  • Limping?
These are common symptoms in arthritic cats. However, as many cats have a sedentary lifestyle (especially in their senior years), it may be difficult to spot they’re in pain. If you notice any of these symptoms, schedule a vet visit. Your furry feline will thank you for it!

All the ways your vet can help

They can:
  • Diagnose your pet’s symptoms
  • Provide tailored pain relief so your animal is comfortable
  • Help protect against progression of the disease
  • Suggest ways to manage your pet’s weight – which is often the single most important thing you can do to help your pet long term
  • Offer a range of advice – about rest, exercise, physiotherapy and how to make your pet more comfy around the house (soft bedding, easily accessible litter trays or indoor ramps to help them get to their favourite spots).

Medication

While weight, diet modification and nutritional supplements can all play a role in managing osteoarthritis, so can medication – especially to alleviate your pet’s pain.
NSAIDS
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) are one of many options used to manage the condition. They do a few important things such as provide pain relief, reduce inflammation and protect against joint deterioration.
Side effects
As with all medications, side effects can occur.
Common ones are:
  • A mild softening of your pet’s stools
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Other gastrointestinal signs
If your pet becomes unwell or you suspect your pet is having problems with a medication, STOP it and CONTACT your vet.

Why it’s vital to schedule a vet revisit

If your pet is on NSAID medication, it’s really important you stick to your revisit vet schedule so they can regularly monitor your furry friend with check-ups and lab tests. As lifestyle and medication needs can change over time, your friendly vet might suggest modifications along the way to make sure your best mate continues to live a long and healthy life.

HELPING YOUR PET MOVE INTO THEIR SENIOR YEARS COMFORTABLY & PAIN FREE

Fur Life Vet Bendigo 
Epsom 1800 387 543
furlifevet.com.au/epsom
Golden Square 1800 387 543
furlifevet.com.au/goldensquare

Gippsland Veterinary Hospital
Maffra 03 5147 1177
Sale 03 5144 3100
maffravet.com.au

Kyabram Veterinary Clinic
Kyabram 03 5852 2244
Nathalia 03 5866 2860
kyabramvets.com.au

Passionate Vetcare Bendigo 
03 5443 9385
passionatevetcare.com.au

Terang & Mortlake Vet Clinic
Terang 03 03 5592 2111
Mortlake 03 5599 2612
terangmortlakevet.com.au

Warrnambool Veterinary
Warrnambool 03 5561 2255
Port Fairy 03 5568 1855
wvc.com.au

Border Veterinary Clinic
Barham 03 5453 3159
Cohuna 03 5456 2709
Leitchville 03 5456 7334
Kerang 03 5452 2094
bordervets.com.au

Southern Riverina Vets
Finley 03 5883 3833
Echuca 03 5482 3202
Moama 03 5480 6071
Deniliquin 03 5881 5488
sr-vets.com.au

Dubbo Veterinary Hospital
02 6884 1190
dubbovet.net.au

Quirindi Veterinary Clinic
02 6741 2000
quirindivetclinic.com.au

Gympie Veterinary Services
Gympie 07 5482 2488
Tin Can Bay 07 5486 4666
gympieveterinaryservices.com

Scottsdale Veterinary Services
03 6352 2996
scottsdalevets.com.au

Smithton Veterinary Service
03 6452 6333
smithtonvet.com.au

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