Canine Arthritis Management

Did you know that Veterinary Physiotherapy can help manage osteoarthritis pain in your pets?

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease, that can affect your pets in the same way it affects our joints. It is inflammation of the joint, and the cartilage in the affected joint is damaged. As the space between the bones becomes narrow, the joint no longer moves smoothly and more pressure is put on surrounding tendons and ligaments to keep the stability of the joint.

Symptoms to look out for:

  • Lameness and stiffness when moving, especially after longer periods of rest.

  • Reluctance to exercise.

  • Behaviour changes (Looking depressed).

  • New aggression to other dogs and unwillingness to play.

  • Changes in their movements, not putting even weight through all limbs.

  • More significant changes in the cold and wet weather.

What can be done to help?

Seeing your vet if you notice any symptoms that could indicate arthritis is the first step, and they can prescribe pain relief and anti-inflammatory medications.

Make some changes to their daily routine to compensate for the reduced exercise. Weight management is key to reducing pain in effected joints as excess weight puts pressure on the joints. Changing the ways you feed by using enrichment toys to hide the food, this increases their exercise whilst working for their food.

Seeing a physiotherapist can help to reduce their pain, maintain muscle mass and help with compensatory issues they develop from changing their movements to deal with the pain. We can use electrotherapies on their effected joints which has significant benefits in reducing pain, use of hydrotherapy to reduce weight on the joints whilst carrying out effective exercise.


Unfortunately there is no cure for this disease but managing the pain will ensure they live a full life. Make sure you don't carry out any changes to their routine without seeking veterinary advice first for a full diagnosis.

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