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AUG 15 2019
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My Dog Is Stiff Getting Up In The Morning

You wake up to another cold rainy winter’s day and as you are getting ready you notice your beloved pooch Bella still asleep in her bed. Normally at this point she’d be all over you begging for food. You fill up her breakfast bowl, call her name, and slowly, stiffly, gingerly she walks over to the bowl to have her breakfast.

Later that afternoon you come home from work and normally Bella’s waiting for you ready to go on her daily walk. But there she is again, curled up in bed in front of the heater, not wanting to go out into the cold. With some coaxing you start on the walk, but even walking down the front stairs seems to be a bigger effort than usual.

One trip to the vet later, and it is found Bella’s joints are creaky, stiff, and sore. Xrays of those sore joints show they have rough, thickened, bony edges where it should be smooth. The vet tells you that Bella has osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis or arthritis is a painful condition of the joints, common in older animals, above 7 years old. It is caused when the joint is unstable, and the protective cartilage is lost or damaged and the bones move abnormally against each other causing chronic pain and inflammation. More than 1 in 5 dogs are affected by this painful condition.


Sometimes our pets are really good at hiding pain, but a thorough vet check can pinpoint areas where they may be sore.

Signs of arthritis may include:

•             Stiffness

•             Lameness

•             Sleeping more

•             Licking at sore joints

•             Not wanting to do normal activity like walks or play

•             Difficulty jumping up and down from things and climbing stairs

•             Behavioural changes- getting aggressive when touching sore areas

•             Cats toileting outside of the litter tray because it’s too painful to jump in and out of it


So what options are available to manage arthritis? How can I ensure my pet is comfortable?

1.       Lifestyle changes

Excess weight should be the first thing to go. Being on the heavier side can put more pressure on our pet’s joints.

Less weight=less pressure=less pain=more active=more happy.

Regular gentle exercise is also great to keep those joints moving, weight down, and to prevent muscle wastage from inactivity. Swimming and hydrotherapy are great low impact exercises your dog can do.

Soft bedding, that is easy to get in and out of, will also lessen pressure on joints. Making sure beds are away from draughts and warm can also make a world of difference.


2.       Medication

-          Synovan injections

This is an injectable medication containing pentosan and glucosamine, building blocks of cartilage, that stabilise and help joint cartilage repair, and improve joint lubrication. They provide significant improvement in a high percentage of arthritis patients, with minimal, if any, side effects. They start off as a series of 4 weekly injections then can be given on a 1-6 monthly basis as ongoing therapy.

-          Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication.

These medications are the basis of pain relief for arthritis are specially formulated for use in dogs and cats. They not only provide pain relief but also reducing the inflammation in the joints. With regular monitoring of the liver and kidney function, and communication which NSAID is most suitable, most pets respond very well to their use.

-          Nutriceuticals

These are food products or supplements that have "pharmaceutical" effects, they can contain ingredients such as glucosamine, chondroitin sulphate or specific extracts of Green Lipped Mussel and Shark Cartilage that mimic the building blocks of the joint lining and thus improve joint function and can help to reduce inflammation over time.

Arthritis is not a condition that can be cured but with proper lifestyle modification and medication pets with arthritis can live long active and comfortable lives.



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You wake up to another cold rainy winter’s day and as you are getting ready you notice your beloved pooch Bella still asleep in her bed. Normally at this point she’d be all over you begging for food. You fill up her breakfast bowl, call her name, and slowly, stiffly, gingerly she walks over to the bowl to have her breakfast.

Later that afternoon you come home from work and normally Bella’s waiting for you ready to go on her daily walk. But there she is again, curled up in bed in front of the heater, not wanting to go out into the cold. With some coaxing you start on the walk, but even walking down the front stairs seems to be a bigger effort than usual.

One trip to the vet later, and it is found Bella’s joints are creaky, stiff, and sore. Xrays of those sore joints show they have rough, thickened, bony edges where it should be smooth. The vet tells you that Bella has osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis or arthritis is a painful condition of the joints, common in older animals, above 7 years old. It is caused when the joint is unstable, and the protective cartilage is lost or damaged and the bones move abnormally against each other causing chronic pain and inflammation. More than 1 in 5 dogs are affected by this painful condition.


Sometimes our pets are really good at hiding pain, but a thorough vet check can pinpoint areas where they may be sore.

Signs of arthritis may include:

•             Stiffness

•             Lameness

•             Sleeping more

•             Licking at sore joints

•             Not wanting to do normal activity like walks or play

•             Difficulty jumping up and down from things and climbing stairs

•             Behavioural changes- getting aggressive when touching sore areas

•             Cats toileting outside of the litter tray because it’s too painful to jump in and out of it


So what options are available to manage arthritis? How can I ensure my pet is comfortable?

1.       Lifestyle changes

Excess weight should be the first thing to go. Being on the heavier side can put more pressure on our pet’s joints.

Less weight=less pressure=less pain=more active=more happy.

Regular gentle exercise is also great to keep those joints moving, weight down, and to prevent muscle wastage from inactivity. Swimming and hydrotherapy are great low impact exercises your dog can do.

Soft bedding, that is easy to get in and out of, will also lessen pressure on joints. Making sure beds are away from draughts and warm can also make a world of difference.


2.       Medication

-          Synovan injections

This is an injectable medication containing pentosan and glucosamine, building blocks of cartilage, that stabilise and help joint cartilage repair, and improve joint lubrication. They provide significant improvement in a high percentage of arthritis patients, with minimal, if any, side effects. They start off as a series of 4 weekly injections then can be given on a 1-6 monthly basis as ongoing therapy.

-          Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication.

These medications are the basis of pain relief for arthritis are specially formulated for use in dogs and cats. They not only provide pain relief but also reducing the inflammation in the joints. With regular monitoring of the liver and kidney function, and communication which NSAID is most suitable, most pets respond very well to their use.

-          Nutriceuticals

These are food products or supplements that have "pharmaceutical" effects, they can contain ingredients such as glucosamine, chondroitin sulphate or specific extracts of Green Lipped Mussel and Shark Cartilage that mimic the building blocks of the joint lining and thus improve joint function and can help to reduce inflammation over time.

Arthritis is not a condition that can be cured but with proper lifestyle modification and medication pets with arthritis can live long active and comfortable lives.



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