Osteoarthritis in Dogs
Dr. Molly Lien: Osteoarthritis in dogs is becoming much more common as our pets are living longer and healthier lives. Osteoarthritis is also called degenerative joint disease, which is basically a progressive and long term deterioration of cartilage within the joints. Older and larger breed dogs are at highest risk, and symptoms can really vary, so it can be anything from limping or lameness in an affected leg, having a stiff gait or difficulty rising from the floor, and overall decreased level of activity.
Dr. Molly Lien: Certain predisposing or underlying conditions can exacerbate arthritis in older age in dogs. This model here shows hip dysplasia in the left hip. As you can see, there’s excessive bony development or growth along here. There’s poor contact between the hip bone and the pelvis, and just overall a lot of inflammation that can exacerbate arthritis in older age. This can really cause problems in older dogs and a lot of lameness on this side that’s affected. We often diagnose arthritis based on symptoms and also our exam, but sometimes we’ll take radiographs or x-rays to help target our therapies to specific areas of the body.
Dr. Molly Lien: Management of arthritis is multimodal, meaning there’s several things we can do to help increase the comfort of our patient’s lives. One of the things are medications such as joint supplements; glucosamine, chondroitin specifically, and anti inflammatories. Here at Brook-Falls, we have a newer medication called galliprant that specifically targets osteoarthritis in dogs and has fewer side effects than other general anti inflammatories. We also offer laser therapy, which helps and is proven to decrease inflammation in our patients. Certain facilities in the area offer rehabilitation services such as hydro or water therapy and acupuncture.
Brook-Falls Veterinary Hospital and Exotic Care, Inc. is a full-service veterinary hospital offering an extensive range of comprehensive medical, dental, diagnostic and surgical services to meet the varying needs of all patients. Brook-Falls Veterinary also offers informational and educational media and seminars for pets and their owners by way of Blogs, Digital TV Series (Expert Veterinary Television), e-books, whitepapers, infographics and more. For more information, contact Brook-Falls Veterinary Hospital & Exotic Care, Inc.