It's important to recognise arthritis early
All joints are designed to have a smooth surface so they can bend and move like a well oiled hinge. The interlocking surfaces are made of cartilage which is reasonably soft and yielding to pressure like a shock absorber in a car. Beneath this is a bone with a large enough blood supply to keep both tissues vital. Any alterations to any of these tissues may be enough to change their vitality and change also their form and function, which then results in those smooth surfaces becoming rough and deformed.
This is what we recognise as the painful arthritis.
It commonly occurs in the lower limb joints as these are the ones most subjected to trauma, for example, in the limbs of performance dogs and high energy dogs like Jack Russell terriers. The damage within the joints can cause swelling, loss of function and pain on walking, getting up and doing the normal movements of life. The spinal column too has many interlocking joints and can be just as badly affected as the other joints. The overall pattern seen is an animal slowing down and becoming unable to do things like they used to do with energy and exuberance.
Arthritis can occur at any stage of our animal’s life. It is most commonly seen in the older pets, just as in humans but we are seeing more cases in younger animals, sometimes due to trauma, sometimes due to sickness or poor quality feeding. If it is due to sickness or feeding there may be more than one joint affected.
Why is it important to recognise these problems early?
Because there are so many more approaches to not only alleviating pain these days, but also assisting the body to produce good and better quality bone and cartilage.
Procedures we offer to assist arthritic problems
- Anti-inflammatory/pain relief medication - use of non-steroidal or steroidal injections/tablets
- Stimulation of joint fluid production - use of injections or food powder
- Mobilising the restricted joint - use of acupuncture and/or trigger point treatments
- Chronic painful joints may be assisted by implanting gold beads into dependent acupuncture point
- Alter metabolism via diet changing - mineral supplementation and or homeopathy
- Stabilise hyper-mobile joints with surgery (e.g. cruciate repair) or joint injections to fuse small joints