June 23, 2023

Arthritis Management: More than just Rimadyl


Have you noticed your senior pet slowing down? Dogs and cats are very good at hiding pain, especially chronic pain, and clinical signs can be easily missed.. Dogs may show some hesitation getting into the car. Cats may prefer being on the floor instead of up high in the cat tree. It can be very challenging for pet owners, and even veterinarians, to recognize these signs. Here are some changes you might notice that could indicate your pet has arthritis:

  • Decreased activity
  • Stiffness and/or lameness
  • Changes in grooming and/or unkempt haircoat, especially for cats
  • Muscle atrophy
  • Behavior changes such as irritability and even aggression

Once these signs are recognized, you can have a conversation with your veterinarian about how to help your pet. The first goal of treatment is always to relieve the pain. This most often means treatment with NSAIDs (Non-steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs), pain medications, and even biologics that have recently become available (Solensia for cats). We call this multimodal treatment as we are using a combination of different therapies to manage pain and improve function, instead of one single treatment that may miss the mark. 

Some other therapies that are beneficial for arthritic patients are physical therapy, acupuncture, and supplements. Also, if your pet is overweight, developing a weight loss plan is essential for comfort and mobility. 

Talk to your veterinarian about what options you have for your pet. It’s important to keep in mind that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to arthritis management. This is why at Lakehaven Vet we develop a program for you and your pet based on their individual needs. With a plan and the right tools, your pet can still live a happy and healthy life with arthritis.

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