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What you need to know about arthritis

Chances are you know someone with arthritis. Well it doesn’t just affect us humans as we get older- it can also affect our furry friends! Arthritis can affect cats too, but dogs are more likely to suffer as a result of their (usually) bigger builds and more active lifestyle. Arthritis can occur in any joint in the body, but the most common joints for dogs to be affected by arthritis are the knees, hips, shoulders and elbows.

Arthritis means inflammation of the joints, which can eventually lead to the cartilage between joints deteriorating to the point where the bones are rubbing on each other as they move. Arthritis can be caused by a number of things. The most common cause for arthritis in dogs is being overweight. Being overweight places more pressure on the joints which causes localised inflammation, therefore accelerating the process of arthritis. Therefore, maintaining a healthy weight for your pet is very important in reducing the risk of arthritis.

Regular exercise is also an important part of managing arthritis. Swimming is a great form of exercise that puts minimal pressure on the joints, while still keeping them mobile and using muscles to keep them strong. While controlled leash walking is also a great exercise, things like chasing balls and running up and down sand dunes may put too much pressure on joints and as your furry friend gets a bit older.

If you are worried that your furry family member may be suffering from arthritis- never fear! Vets have many very effective treatments for arthritis, ranging from specialised diets, to supplements and other options including specific medications.

So if you think your loved one may be suffering from arthritis, come in and see us today!

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