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Osteoarthritis (OA) is a chronic and progressive degenerative joint disease that affects both cats and dogs. It is one of the most commonly seen chronic conditions in dogs. While wear and tear in older pets can cause OA, genetic abnormalities can also predispose young dogs to chronic joint disease. This makes osteoarthritis an old AND young pet disease. Diagnoses is made by: physical exam, radiographs and/or sometimes more extensive diagnostic tests like CT’s

Signs of OA:

  • limping/lameness
  • swollen joints
  • restlessness
  • difficulty getting up or down,
  • muscle atrophy
  • changes in behavior (such asirritability)
  • weight gain,
  • trouble walking on stairs
  • yelping when being touched.

*Remember signs can be subtle (especially in cats).

How you Can Help:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight to take stress off the joints.
  • Regular moderate exercise
  • Joint supplements/fish oils help to lubricate the joints.
  • Some pets will require prescribed medications to help control pain.
  • Keep pets indoors; joints feel better when they’re warm and dry.
  • Elevated food bowls help to relieve back pain.
  • Providing pets rugs/booties to help with traction when walking around.

*Not all supplements are made the same. Please always consult your doctor when starting a new supplement.