Winter Heath Hazards

With the onset of colder, damp, winter weather you may have noticed some subtle changes in the behaviour of your pet;  Reduced activity (reluctance to walk or play), changes in character (reluctance to interact with family, other pets), stiffness/lameness (difficulty getting up, climbing steps), licking or chewing joints or changes in toilet behaviour.

These behaviours could indicate arthritis.  Some pets are more stoic than others (cats especially), and do not readily complain, but arthritis is painful, even though the outward signs can be subtle.

Arthritis can appear in young pets, but is most common in mature and elderly pets.  1 in 5 adult dogs suffer arthritis reducing their quality of life.

What causes arthritis?  In some cases specific causes such as autoimmune disease or infection need to be ruled out or treated.  Most casesArthritic Old Dog however are considered to be a result of wear and tear on joints.

If you feel your pet may suffering from arthritic pain an examination by Sanford Vet Clinic is in order.  

The good news is that arthritis pain can be managed.  Warm, comfortable, well padded bedding is essential. Avoid draughts and dampness.  A warm wheat bag can help.  As well as bedding we can also supply “Senior” diets that have added nutrients for joint support, and help with weight control.

Non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs such as Rimadyl, Metacam and Ketofen may be prescribed and provide symptomatic relief. 

Cartrophen is a medication that can limit cartilage degradation, promote cartilage formation, and improve joint fluid and blood supply to joints.

Don’t give your pet human anti-inflammatories as animals metabolise some drugs very differently to humans. Common human medications such as naproxen, ibuprofen and paracetamol can have life threatening side effects on pets.

Your pet does not have to live with arthritic pain.  Modern advances in veterinary care and drugs can improve the quality of life for your pet.  Isn’t that something that we all want?

Sanford Veterinary Clinic Geraldton - Compassionate Care For Your Family Pet

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