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May Musculoskeletal Month - Osteoarthritis




🐾One of the most common musculoskeletal diseases that I see in practice is Osteoarthritis. It is a degenerative joint disease process that affects dogs of all sizes, but usually most pronounced in large and extra large breed dogs🐶 or pre-diposed breeds such as german shepherds. It can be a primary condition due to aging or secondary to trauma or other musculoskeletal abnormalities. Cats 🐱 can develop osteoarthritis too but they are usually affected along their spine.


So what can you to do help?


🐾 Encourage weight loss in over-conditioned pets or maintain weight management in pets with appropriate body condition scores


🐾 Allow the pet to engage in moderate physical activity for short amounts of time; especially low impact exercises such as swimming 🏊‍♂️ can be helpful


🐾Consider joint health supplements such as glucosamine/chondroitin and omega-3s (fish oils)


🐾Talk to your pet’s veterinarian👩🏻‍⚕️ about starting anti-inflammatory medications that can reduce the inflammation and pain associated with arthritis


🐾 Look into alternative therapies such as acupuncture, laser therapy and other physical therapy exercises that could be helpful too!


References:

1) Veterinary Partner. Veterinarypartner.com

2) Tilley, L. P., & Smith, F. W. (2005). The 5-minute veterinary consult: Canine and feline. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

3) Yin, S. A. (2010). The small animal veterinary nerdbook. Davis, CA: CattleDog Pub.



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