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Arthritis & Joint Pain



Arthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease (DJD) is a breakdown of the protective cartilage and bone surrounding joints. The process begins with excessive motion in a joint that eventually leads to a wearning-down of cartilage. As a result, inflammation develops with the joint, and movement becomes painful. These changes generally appear later in life, but if mechanical or hereditary defects are severe, signs can appear in younger pets. This can also be due to trama.
     "Bad Joints" can cause immense pain, especially in the mornings and in cold weather. As your pet's advocate, it is up to you to watch for signs of joint pain. Call us if you notice any other these signs:

  • Becomes less active

  • Gets up slowly

  • Walks stiffly or limps

  • Has swollen joints

  • Yelps, especially during exercise

  • Hesitates or refuses to climb stairs

  • Seems depressed or not wanting to do usual activities

Remember some dogs do not exhibit all of these signs. You may only noticed decreased activity or slowness.

    Comprehensive examinations help us detect and treat joint problems before they become too painful. If your pet does not receive regular exams, the joint problems may already be advanced when you notice it. If you do notice any joint pain in your pet, see Dr. Wood immediately. We will perform a complete physical examination and may use blood tests, radiography views, and joint fluid analysis to help determine the cause and severity of the problem.

What can be done?


  1. Weight Managment. Attain and Maintain an ideal body weight.

  2. Exercise. Adopt a lifestyle of regular but MODERATE activity, avoiding intermittent "extremes" of exercise (weekend warrior) and activity to which your pet is not conditioned. Swimming is great as long as he/she isn't charging or jumping into water.

  3. Nutritional Supplements. Continue joint protectant supplements such as Dasuquin/Adequan (glucosamine-chondroitin supplements that are disease-modifying supplements) and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation (fish oil capsule or liquid supplement).

  4. Therapeutic Foods. Dietary changes, such as Hill's Prescription Diet j/d, may be used to help maintain and protect your pet's joints.

  5. Alternative Medicine. Laser Therapy and Acupuncture Treatments as need for both pain management and decreased inflammation.

  6. Physical Therapy. Available to humans for many years, phyiscal therapy is becoming more widely accepted to help with joint pain in animals.

  7. Anti-inflammatory medications. These range from drugs with minimal adverse effects to those that need careful monitoring.

  8. Injections into the joint. These newer treatments range from steroid to stem cell injections.

  9. Pain Medications. Treating arthritis pain is important. The less pain in a joint, the more mobility there will be.

  10. Surgery. In certain cases, surgery can be of great benefit.

Please Schedule a Consult with Dr. Wood if you suspect your pet may be experiencing any age-related health changes.

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