Fraser Valley Animal Hospital

2633 Ware Street
Abbotsford, BC V2S 3E2

(604)854-2313

www.fvah.ca

Arthritis Awareness Month

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Our pets joints take on many tasks each day; from running, jumping, and playing. Over the course of their life, its no surprise that their joints start to deteriorate and cause them pain.  So the question is how can we recognize these signs early and intervene to continue to provide the quality of life that they deserve. 

Could Your Dog Have Arthritis?

 Arthritis in dogs is a very common condition in our older dogs and in fact studies show that 1 in 5 dogs will develop arthritis.  Arthritis is inflammation within the joint, which is a slowly progressive disease.  Our goal is to diagnose arthritis as early as possible to 1. Help slow the progression of the arthritis and 2. Keep you dog free of the chronic pain that is associated with arthritis. 

 

Could Your Cat Have Arthritis?

 

Arthritis in cats is a very common condition in our older cats and in fact studies show anywhere from 75% to 90% of our older cats will develop some degree of arthritis by the age of 12.  Cats though are notorious for hiding their problem as they adapt their behaviour to mask their problem.  This means we must be observant of subtle behavioural changes that can tell us that there is something going on. 

 

Three important things one must remember as you watch your dog to see if he/she may have arthritis:

  1. Remember that arthritis is a progressive disease so changes occur slowly overtime which means that the changes often are missed early on as they slowly become the new norm.
  2. Just like in people your dog will have good and bad days which means until the arthritis is in an advance stage you may not see the behaviour change daily.
  3. The following behavioural changes can all be seen with arthritis but (a) no one dog will have all the changes seen on the list.

 

 

Three important things one must remember as you watch your cat to see if he/she may have arthritis:

  1. Remember that arthritis is a progressive disease so changes occur slowly overtime which means that the changes often are missed as they slowly become the new norm.
  2. Just like in people your cat will have good and bad days which means until the arthritis is in an advance stage you may not see the behaviour change daily.
  3. The following behavioural changes can all be seen with arthritis but (a) no one cat will have all the changes seen on the list and (b) some of the behavioural changes can be seen with other conditions not just arthritis.

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION  - CLICK HERE FOR DOGS AND HERE FOR CATS

Here are the radiographs from Winstons hips. The second radiograph is from a young dog who is having a PennHip exam done to see if she has hip dysplasia. If you compare the head of the femur inside the yellow circle ... see how winston’s is changed, thickens. Then at the pint of the aero in the young dog the is a femoral neck. Winston’s femur no longer has a femoral neck from all the arthritis. So though he doesn’t limp or cry he does have arhtritis.


No body wants their pet to hurt but both our dogs and cats are so VERY good at hiding early onset of arthritis and pain. They will adapt their behaviour to avoid painful movements. But this change in behaviour occurs slowly over time that we do not notice the change until our pets can no loner hide the fact that they hurt. Our job is to try and notice the very subtle signs that arthritis might be developing in our pet so that we can, slow the progression and keep them comfortable.

This video with the help of my pets, my family's pets and my clients pets as well as some videos from Boehringer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzfvG... and the veterinary college at NC State university https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-7hnA...