Hello winter!! If you are feeling the cold this week then no doubt your pets are too.
Wintry weather tends to cause pain in arthritic joints in both humans and animals. The first thing owners tend to notice in their pets is a reluctance to do certain things like jump up into the car, jump up onto the couch, or chase after the ball. First thing in the morning you may notice your pet taking more time to rise, moving slowly, and perhaps even limping slightly. If you are noticing any of these signs it is worth taking your pet to your vet.
There are a range of medical solutions for pets with arthritis ranging from simple things that you can do at home to more complex treatments that your vet will need to oversee.
Prescription medication such as anti-inflammatory drugs, given in liquid or tablet form at home, can help reduce pain for your pet and get them moving more comfortably. Pentosan injectable is a relatively new prescription medication used to reduce joint inflammation and help repair cartilage damage in the joint. A vet or vet nurse administers this as a course of injections.
Keeping your pet in a nice comfortable bed, preferably inside or near a heater will go a long way to making them more comfortable in the cold. Make sure they are able to move away from this warm place to regulate their temperature so they don’t overheat.
Dietary supplements such a glucosamine, chondroitin sulphate and omega 3s such as fish oil can be used to support joint function and reduce inflammation. While these are not strong enough to combat severe arthritis on their own, they are great to use in conjunction with other treatments.
Weight loss is the most important factor when managing arthritis. If your pet is overweight this puts more strain on their joints, and fatty tissue can also cause arthritis. An overweight pet is usually eating too much, so feel free to ask our team about your pet’s ideal body condition and how much food you should be feeding. Low impact exercise such as walking 10-15 minutes daily can help your pet maintain a healthy weight and can also be very good for their (and your!) mental health.
Rest assured, there is a lot you can do to help your arthritic pet.
There are many approaches to managing arthritis, the most successful of which will always be a combination of the above treatments. Call our team on 4091 7556 for more information or to get Dr Matt and Dr Sophie treating your pet’s arthritis this winter.