Rehabilitation of the older dog with osteoarthritis: workshop report
Putting together a multimodal management plan for OAOnce a diagnosis of OA is made (normally on the basis of clinical signs with radiographic confirmation), a management plan can be discussed with the client. The key features of such a plan are• The Target: a gradual increase in exercise, mobility and comfort• Monitoring: regular checks to assess progress and modify treatment• The Treatment: an appropriate selection of therapy• The Timescale: this should be a therapy that evolves and changes as the patient improves.As part of the initial examination a baseline for the points that will be monitored during treatment should be established. A useful list would be:• Clients’ description of exercise, stiffness, lameness and pain, particularly of common activities, e.g. climbing stairs or jumping on furniture• Estimation of degree of lameness or gait abnormality at walk and trot• Physical examination — especially of affected joint especially• Range of movement (ROM) (measure limits with goniometer)• Pain• Fibrous swelling.Having a common form of recording or an ‘OA’ sheet in the practice for this sort of information is a very useful step in treatment as it makes progress easier to recognise.
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