Osteoarthritis is a progressive disease that is the wearing of the protective layering (cartilage) at the end of bones. Osteoarthritis is a condition that affects many animals of any age. While osteoarthritis commonly affects older animals following gradual degeneration, it can also affect younger animals too, who are either born with joint abnormalities or suffer joint injuries. Common examples of these are dogs that are born with elbow and hip dysplasia (a hereditary abnormality of the joint or its conformation) or dogs that suffer from cruciate disease (similar to a torn ACL in humans).

There is no cure for osteoarthritis and it will progressively get worse over time and impact the mobility of your animal as they get older. However there are a lot of things that can be done to help make your animal more comfortable, improve their mobility and also slow down the progression of osteoarthritis. In cases with particular injuries (such as cruciate disease) corrective surgery can be performed to help re-stabilise that joint and slow down the ongoing progression.
There are also a lot of things other than surgery that can be done for all patients to help slow down the progression of osteoarthritis including:
- weight management
- exercise modification; lead walking and swimming are both great
- joint supplements; omega 3 fatty acids and combined supplements such as 4cyte work well.
- arthritis injections
- anti-inflammatories if necessary (we may recommend a blood test if these are going to be used regularly to ensure that your pets internal organs will cope with these).
If you have any concerns about your dogs mobility or think it may be showing signs of osteoarthritis then book in for a check up with your regular vet to discuss these options more.