Canine osteoarthritis: improving quality of life
Saturday, October 1, 2011
Osteoarthritis is a painful, non-curable, progressive disease of the joint. Clinical signs include stiffness, lameness, and reduced activity. Treatment of the disease usually focuses on pain relief and management to improve the animal's quality of life. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are considered the treatment of choice but it may not always be possible to prescribe these because many of the dogs presented will be geriatric and may have impaired liver and kidney function. There are a number of other ways to help relieve the pain in these animals. Some of the most common treatments for the management of the disease include hydrotherapy, physiotherapy, weight management, dietary supplementation, and drug therapy. Veterinary nurses can play an invaluable role in supporting owners and monitoring a dog's response to treatment through arthritis clinics. Some owners may not be aware that this condition does not have to be an unfortunate process of old age but can be treated.
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