Understanding Arthritis in Pets

Like people, animals can experience osteoarthritis due to the normal wear and tear on joints that occurs as they get older. This condition can cause discomfort and problems with mobility in animals. However, effective treatments are available for animals to help them experience less pain and improve their mobility and quality of life. At Compassion Veterinary Hospital in Bradford, NH, we offer treatment for older pets troubled by arthritis. 

Pet Arthritis

Risk Factors for Pet Arthritis

Generally, middle-aged and older animals experience joint or spine problems. Larger breeds of dogs may be susceptible to the development of arthritis as they age. Athletic or working dogs often develop arthritis. Genetics may predispose some animals to arthritis. Previous injuries in a joint may cause arthritis. Obesity can also cause arthritis. Cats also experience arthritis pain and stiffness as they get older.

Symptoms of Arthritis in Pets

You may notice your pet is limping or reluctant to use one of its legs. The animal may take a longer time rising from a lying down position. Your pet may refuse to climb stairs or walk long distances. The area may be sensitive to the touch. Your pet may also become irritable due to the discomfort. Your cat or dog may lick at the affected area, trying to soothe the discomfort.

How Veterinarians Diagnose Arthritis in Pets

Our animal doctor will give your pet a thorough physical exam, examining the affected area. Our vet will also ask you various questions about your dog’s behavior, reluctance to exercise, ability to go up stairs, and others situations that reveal limitations in mobility. Blood tests may be ordered to eliminate other health problems that could be affecting your pet. An x-ray or ultrasound can indicate damage to bones and soft tissue in the joints. Based on these findings, our vet will determine the right course of treatment to help your pet enjoy greater comfort and a more active life.

Veterinary Treatment of Arthritis

Our veterinarian generally recommends non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory medications to reduce pain and inflammation in affected joints. In some cases, prescription medications formulated for the animal can help to relieve symptoms. Acupuncture can relieve pain effectively. Laser therapy can also help relieve pain and inflammation. Surgery may be necessary for severe cases of arthritis.

Contact Us for Arthritis Treatment from Our Bradford Animal Doctor

Dr. Richter and our staff at Compassion Veterinary Hospital work hard to ensure good health and longevity for our patients in Bradford and surrounding areas. We offer a broad range of services with a holistic approach for pets, including wellness exams, vaccinations, parasite prevention, surgery, microchipping, pharmacy services, and more. Contact Compassion Veterinary Hospital today at 603-938-5500 for an appointment to learn about our treatments for arthritis in pets.

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