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Unfortunately, especially as your pet ages, he or she is at risk for certain diseases such as arthritis. Although the condition isn't preventable, you can help ease your pet's discomfort by seeing a vet. Our veterinary expert at Sherbrook Animal Hospital, serving Winnipeg, Manitoba and the surrounding area, diagnoses and treats patients who suffer from arthritis.
Also known as a degenerative joint disease, pet arthritis is a condition that causes inflammation of one or more of the joints. Although age is usually the cause of arthritis since wear and tear leads to the condition, some cats or dog develop it as a result of a physical deformity, infection, immune system problem or an injury. Sometimes, genetics plays a role in the onset of pet arthritis.
Arthritis is a painful condition that progressively gets worse. In a majority of cases, the condition is permanent. Arthritis in animals can lead to joint deformities, lameness and a loss of normal joint function. It's possible the condition can completely cripple your beloved pet.
In the earlier stages, you might notice your four-legged friend limping or favoring one leg more than the other. The limping may be worse when your pet first rises and will gradually lessen as your pet moves around. He or she might not be hesitant to move because of arthritis. The condition may affect other areas of the body besides the legs, so you might notice your pet standing with a "hunch" in his or her back. Because of the pain, your pet might not be as playful or active as he or she once was. You might notice your pet licks, bites or chews on the affected area.
You might notice your pet sleeping more often than usual. The pain of the condition may cause your pet to be more irritable than usual to the point where he or she bites or snaps, even if he or she has never been aggressive before. You might notice your pet becomes very agitated when you touch the painful joint. It's possible that arthritis will cause atrophy in the affected muscle. When your pet isn't moving the muscle as much, the tissue may die off and lead to one leg appearing larger than the other.
Our vet might prescribe a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) possibly with a nutraceutical or supplement. Massage therapy will benefit your pet by relieving soreness. Our veterinary specialist may provide you with lifestyle changes you can implement into your pet's life to make him or her more comfortable. For instance, our vet may recommend a soft bed, and keep your pet on the lower level of your house only.
If you suspect your pet has arthritis, contact Sherbrook Animal Hospital. Our Winnipeg veterinarian serves Winnipeg, Manitoba and the surrounding area. Call us today at 204-800-2212 to schedule an appointment.
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For after hours emergency care please call the Winnipeg Emergency Clinic 204 452-9427.