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Vet's Clinic with Liam Moriarty- Arthritis

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Vet Liam Moriarty

Important Points:

. Arthritis is very common in older pets.
. It is a painful condition.
. The signs are not always easy to spot as dogs and cats are genetically programmed to hide pain.
. Signs to look out for in dogs
. Difficulty rising after rest
. Lying down or resting more than usual
. Stiffness after exercise
. Very slow particularly at start of a walk
. Limping
. Difficulty climbing stairs or getting into the car

Cats get arthritis too. Because cats are small and agile they are better able to cover up the signs. Because you know your cat best you are well placed to spot this condition

Signs to look out for:-

. Reluctance to jump up or down from furniture/ through the cat flap
. Watch for a cat that is sleeping more and is stiffening up
. Look out for scruffy matted coat.
. Changes in behaviour - often cats with arthritis are less tolerant around people.

What you can do at home to help:-

. Maintain activity - try to continue with gentle exercise in dogs- just don't over do it.
. Make food, litter trays, beds etc. easily accessible to dogs and cats.
. Get the best most comfy bed you can afford.
. Avoid slippy floors for dogs, and keep them from going upstairs.
. Control their weight

What your vet can do to help:-

. X-rays can be used for diagnosis.
. Arthritis is a painful condition - so your vet may want to prescribe medications that relieve inflammation in the joints and relieve pain.
. Joint supplements can be helpful.
. Special diets are useful.
. Sometimes surgery can be helpful - dogs can have hip replacements (will send x-ray)
. Costs for arthrititis medications vary widely - however for an average dog weighing 20kg medication would probably cost about €25 per month, perhaps another €10 -12 on supplements and maybe special diets. Heavier animals cost more to treat as they need more medications. Also you could expect to visit the vet twice per year for check ups.

In our clinic we recommend blood tests for dogs that are on some medications every 6 months.

There is a lot of variation in costs and treatments depending on the condition of the dog.

Some people will be very vigilant at spotting signs and ensuring they get good treatment.
Blog on Arthritis:

Hermitage Veterinary Clinic
Old Bawn Veterinary Clinic