“Our Commitment To Your Pet Lies In The Quality Of Our Care”

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234 Power Road, Endeavour Hills, Vic 3802

 

Telephone: 1300-838-738 or 1300-VET-PET

 

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Arthritis

“Our Commitment To Your Pet Lies In The Quality Of Our Care”

Musculo arthritisWe diagnose arthritis using a combination of clinical assessments, imaging technologies, laboratory analysis and the likes, some of which are indicated below:-

Arthritis (also called osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease) is a common disease affecting cats and dogs, especially those senior pets. It can greatly affect your pet’s quality of life. Younger pets may also be at a higher risk of developing arthritis due to injuries, infections, poor nutrition or developmental disorders.

Arthritis occurs as a result of wear and tear on the joints, especially if the joint has been injured previously or has instability. Cartilage acts like joint shock absorbers. As the cartilage erodes, the ends of the bones rub against each other causing pain, inflammation and further degeneration. Arthritis does not have to be such a devastating disease especially if early diagnosis, intervention and treatment are instituted.

If arthritis is suspected, based on your pet’s symptoms and the clinical examination, the next step in diagnosis is x-rays and possibly blood testing. Other diseases may mimic arthritis thus x-rays are very useful to not only confirm the presence of arthritis and its severity, but also to help identify any other possible problems. Blood testing is also important to help rule out other less common causes of arthritis (e.g. infections and auto-immune disease) and to check your pet’s overall general health, especially prior to recommending certain arthritis medications.

Surgery may be useful in some patients with arthritis, especially those which have conditions affecting the stability of the joint (eg. cruciate ligament disease, luxating patella). However it is important to remember that most cases of arthritis in our pets are managed rather than cured.

There are many signs or symptoms of arthritis that include:

  1. limping, lameness and stiffness, especially after exercise
  2. difficulty or stiffness rising from a resting position
  3. difficulty climbing stairs, getting in the car and jumping onto or off the lounge or bed
  4. reluctance to be patted or touched or play games
  5. personality changes e.g. acting aggressive or withdrawn
  6. altered gait
  7. muscle atrophy and weakness

In cats it may be more difficult to tell if they have arthritis as they tend to hide their pain and distress. Signs of arthritis in cats may also include:

  1. decreased grooming especially over the lower back and tail
  2. decreased general activity and movement,
  3. growling when picked up or being patted in the arthritic area.

There are many things you can do to prevent or minimize the development, pain and progression of arthritis.

  1. Exercise-
    1. Regular, low impact and short periods of daily exercise (that does not leave your pet sore the next day) are recommended. This form of exercise helps keep muscles strong for support, reduces excess weight and keeps the joints flexible.
    2. Walking and swimming are excellent forms of exercise.
    3. Avoid repetitive high impact activities and very long exercise sessions.

  2. Weight control-
    1. Encourage puppies to be an ideal weight as they grow, limit lots of jumping and very boisterous exercise, especially in growing large breed pups.
    2. Avoid obesity as carrying excess body weight will contribute to joint damage and exacerbate the discomfort and pressures of arthritis.

  3. Supplements-
    1. Nutraceutical supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin help to slow the progression of arthritis, rebuild damaged cartilage and decrease the pain of arthritis.
    2. Green-lipped sea mussel or Perna mussel help to ease pain, increase mobility and decrease inflammation.
    3. Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties.
    4. Vitamins C and E may also be of benefit as they have antioxidant qualities.
    5. These supplements complement and are often used in conjunction with other treatments and medications, they may even allow a lower dose of other medications to be used.
    6. These supplements alone do not generally provide rapid relief; it may take several weeks or months before improvement is seen.

  4. Drug therapy-
    1. Drugs such as Cartrophen (Pentosan Polysulfate) help provide pain relief, reduce inflammation and improve joint mobility.
    2. Cartrophen is administered by injection, with one injection given weekly for 4 weeks and then if further treatment is needed an injection once every 3-6 months.
    3. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Rimadyl, Metacam and Previcox provide more rapid pain relief and anti-inflammatory activity.
    4. Blood testing prior to giving these medications is recommended to check your pet’s health.
    5. It is also very important to NEVER give human medications and NEVER give medications designed for your pet to other pets.

  5. Other treatments that may benefit your pet include
    1. acupuncture,
    2. chiropractic,
    3. massage
    4. trigger point therapy, and
    5. homeopathy.
    6. It is also beneficial to keep your pet warm in winter and provide soft bedding off the floor for example, a cushion or a trampoline bed.

As you can appreciate the problems are many and will need to be identified. It is therefore recommended that your pet is seen by us at the earliest, to prevent the problem progressing and causing other complications. Early recognition and treatment means that your pet will recover sooner, and will therefore be far more comfortable. It is not only significantly more difficult to treat a pet in an advanced stage of the disease, as well as far more expensive, but one also has to take into account the significant pain and stress your pet is under by not being treated at the earliest.

We sincerely recommend that you please call us on 1300-838-738 (1300-VET-PET) to schedule an appointment at the earliest. We do not believe in berating our clients for presenting the pets late, as we believe that this is counter productive. It is not our intention to cause you any embarrassment, offence or anxiety. Our approach is now that you have presented your pet to us, how do we go forward from here, not only keeping your pet’s welfare at heart, but also working with your wishes and limiting factors. We do approach all cases presented to us with a level of sensitivity. As pet health care professionals we will present our assessment and treatment in a professional manner and factually as possible.

You may not be aware that in older pets multiple problems often arise as aging affects all body systems. As pets age they become increasingly vulnerable to diseases. The three leading causes of non accidental death in pets are cancer, kidney disease and heart disease. Older animals seldom suffer from a single disease. One problem may markedly influence the course of another. Ageing is characterised by progressive and irreversible change. Pets are likely to start having diseases associated with ageing between 7 and 13 years. Smaller dogs tend to live longer than large dogs. The quality and length of life of older pets can be improved through regular health checks (every 6 months). A thorough clinical examination will help define some of these problems.

Because we do care for the welfare and interest of your pet, we do go out of way to ensure that your pet can access medical or surgical attention in time of its need. It would also interest you to know that:-

  1. We do pride ourselves in the quality of our services.
  2. We do provide a 24 hour on call service.
  3. We also offer payment plans through a third party, provided you meet the criteria as set out by the financing institute.
  4. If you cannot bring your pet to us, we will come to you as we do have a fully equipped pet ambulance.
  5. We also do house calls.
  6. Your pet will receive a very high level of care given the level of diagnostic and monitoring equipment that we have on hand.
  7. We do welcome you to take a personal tour of our facility.
  8. We also provide pet grooming services
  9. We also provide puppy classes. Puppies are trained not only indoors, but also outdoors, being exposed to outdoor noises and traffic in a controlled environment. The puppy training classes are run by Ms Julie Pocknee.
  10. We do care for our wildlife, and work very closely with wildlife carers providing veterinary care where needed.
  11. We take an active part in community services and proudly support Service Dog Training, by way of providing veterinary services to working dogs of individuals with disabilities. Please see www.servicedogtraining.com.au

If you have not used our services before, we do suggest that you try our services and see the differences for yourself. From our analysis we find that over 30% of all new patients are referred to us by existing clients, and a further 25% of all new patients are brought in by existing clients. Our clients travel from as far as Camberwell, Clayton, Fitzroy, Ringwood, Chelsea, St Kilda, Port Melbourne, Pakenham, to name but a few. From the level of service we provide, you would come to understand that we are not your average Veterinary Services provider. We do recommend that you bookmark our web address www.petcarevet.com.au

Our staff are very friendly and courteous. We are very easily accessible. We are located at 234 Power Road, Endeavour Hills, at the intersection of Power Road and Heatherton Road, Endeavour Hills, just off the Monash Freeway. Please note that parking is at the rear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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