Petcare Info

Arthritis in pets

arthritis in petsOr more specifically termed DJD - degenerative joint disease - is often breed related and may begin while still relatively young.

For example - rottweilers, retrievers, labradors and many large breeds with elbow dysplasia and hip dysplasia. And poodles, chihuahuas and terriers with knee arthritis from slipping kneecaps (medial patella laxation).

Other conditions that will predispose a pet to DJD include:

  • Obesity

  • Sedentary lifestyle

  • Previous injury

  • Hormonal disorders such as hypothyroidism & hyperdrenocorticism (overactive adrenals)

  • Unbalanced diet

Diagnosis may involve palpation of the joints, often with the aid of sedation to also obtain joint fluid for evaluation and radiograph the affected joint. Read more @ Digital Radiology

Treatment is varied based on duration and severity, and may extend to joint replacement surgery. Drug therapy may include non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (nsaids); joint lubricating and cartilage protecting type drugs administered by injection (Zydax). Neutraceuticals (glucosamine group), with the exception of fish oil are questionable in efficacy. There are few independent scientific studies to verify efficacy. Fish oil dosage needs to be precise, however. Weight management is essential and graded exercise obtained by sessions on our Aqua Paws Plus underwater treadmill is ideal.
This unique therapy allows dogs to walk while in a ’fully’ controlled environment, where the depth & warmth of the water & the benefit of buoyancy allows your family dog to gain their confidence to use all limbs again and reverse the effects of immobilisation caused by DJD.

Read more @ Aqua Paws Plus Underwater Treadmill

As progress in hydrotherapy is achieved and weight bearing improves the treadmill speed is increased and / or the depth of the water column in the Aqua Paws is reduced. An additional benefit of regular sessions on the treadmill is weight management. Read more @ Obesity in Pets - We are able to email our clients a specific rehab program for your pet based on recommendations by Prof Darryl Millis from the University of Tennessee, who is regarded as the "father" of canine rehabilitation.