Osteoarthritis in Pets
Osteoarthritis (OA) or degenerative joint disease (DJD) is the progressive and permanent long-term deterioration of the cartilage that surrounds the joints.
Animals experiencing OA/DJD typically experience chronic pain and discomfort, muscle weakness and other symptoms.
Designing an effective custom treatment program involves understanding the process of OA/DJD formation in your pet.
From there, we can determine which treatments are required, target our therapies and assist in disease management.
What to Expect During Treatment for Osteoarthritis
Since no single therapeutic intervention will yield the best outcome, treatment for OA/DJD will likely consist of a combination of therapies ranging from massage, therapeutic exercise and range of motion stretches to nutritional supplements.
Rehabilitation Options for Osteoarthritis
Our highly trained veterinarians at American Pet Clinic typically employ a combination of therapeutic interventions to treat OA/DJD in cats and dogs, including but not limited to:
- Therapeutic exercise
- Aquatic therapy
- Range of motion stretches
- Weight management
- Pharmacologic agents (anti-inflammatories, pain relievers, joint protectors)
- Nutritional supplements
Appropriate interventions are used on a case-by-case basis.
Osteoarthritis & Rehab FAQs
Read our most frequently asked questions about osteoarthritis, degenerative joint disease and rehabilitation. If you have a different question, contact us and we'll do our best to answer it.
- How common are osteoarthritis and DJD?
This condition afflicts more than 20 per cent of the canine population, and is also seen in other species such as cats, exotics and larger domestic species.
- What do veterinary professionals know about osteoarthritis and degenerative joint disease?
DJD is not part of the normal aging process and should be accurately diagnosed by your vet. Animals experiencing OA/DJD generally experience chronic pain and discomfort, muscle weakness, stiff gait and limited mobility.
Pathology and treatment of OA/DJD in human and animal species has been studied in-depth and continues to be studied intensely.
Today, we understand that these diseases are an irreversible complex of both biochemical and bio-mechanical events within an animal's affected joints.
- Why is rehabilitation for osteoarthritis and degenerative joint disease important?
Because OA/DJD is a progressive condition that leads to not only chronic pain and muscle weakness, but also permanent long-term deterioration of cartilage, it's imperative that your pet has the opportunity to engage in rehabilitative therapies and exercise.
These can help relieve pain, preserve mobility and flexibility, and improve joint health as they age.
- Why should a combination of therapies be used when treating osteoarthritis and degenerative joint disease?
No single therapeutic intervention will yield the best outcome, so we approach treatment with a combination of therapies.
- How can my pet benefit from rehabilitation therapies for osteoarthritis?
Rehabilitative therapy can relieve pain, and improve joint health, flexibility and mobility.
New Patients Always Welcome
American Pet Clinic is accepting new patients! Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.