Osteoarthritis is a disease that primarily affects joints. It is an
inflammatory disease that causes damage to joints, leading to cartilage
and bone changes that result in pain. Although arthritis cannot be
cured, many things can be done to minimize the pain and even slow down
the progression of the disease.
advances the cartilage becomes soft and wears unevenly. In more
advanced cases it may wear away completely exposing the underlying
bone. The course of osteoarthritis may involve osteophyte formation
(bony irregular growths), bone remodeling, inflammation and
deterioration of joint tissues.
Osteoarthritis is a
common problem in older pets. Even youngsters (juvenile osteoarthritis)
and middle aged pets can have some degree of problems, especially if an
injury has occurred to set the damage in motion.
does it seem like so many older pets have this problem? Is
osteoarthritis on the upswing? Actually the answer is yes! With medical
advances, pets like people now live longer. The aging process
progresses further and so more problems occur.
Actually, osteoarthritis has always been a problem with our pets, it
was just not commonly recognized in the early stages. Our pets tended
to suffer in silence, allowing changes to occur in the joints more
rapidly. Most pet owners thought that “Fluffy’s” slowness in getting up
or favoring a leg was just part of the aging process. Just ‘getting
old’ no longer means nothing can be done to help. That is usually the
farthest from the truth in any situation involving our pets. If
something seems wrong, it probably is wrong. Once diagnosed, joint pain
often can be helped, if not actually cured. Many pets suffer much more
than they should because the average pet owner simply doesn’t recognize
the early symptoms.
Be sure to contact Ojai Pet Hospital for an evaluation if your pet shows signs of joint discomfort or stiffness.