Routine is the key to successfully caring for your pet with OA. To keep them comfortable you will need to manage their exercise, weight and pain.
Maintaining an optimal weight for your pet is a vital part of managing OA. Obesity makes OA worse due to the increased weight placed on the joints, whilst body fat itself can contribute to inflammation. Your Vets4Pets team will work with you to devise specific dietary guidance for your pet.
Pets with OA benefit from regular controlled exercise. For example it is better for dogs to take frequent short walks every day rather than one long hike at weekends. It is important to find ways to play and exercise with your pet that minimise joint stress and OA deterioration but still help to manage their weight and maintain muscle strength. Physiotherapy, hydrotherapy or even some simple modifications in your home can be really useful to manage OA as well.
Most pets with OA will at some stage benefit from the administration of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (‘NSAIDs’) on a daily basis to keep them comfortable. Depending on the drug, this is usually given once or twice per day. Flavoured tablets and palatable solutions are available which make this quick and easy to do. Joint supplements can also be of benefit by providing the raw materials necessary for the body to try and maintain cartilage and joint fluid