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Part of what sets AVC apart from other veterinary practices is our commitment to preventative health care.

The veterinary community has designated April as arthritis awareness month.  Arthritis is a common health problem for dogs and cats.  Approximately one quarter of all pets in America suffer from some form of arthritis.  There are many causes of arthritis, including joint disorders, injuries, infections, immune mediated disease and old age.  Since this condition can be painful, crippling, and effect your pet’s quality of life, it is important for owners to understand the causes, symptoms, and treatments.  Pets of any age, and any breed of cat or dog can develop arthritis; however, animals with the following conditions are more likely to develop the disease than others:  hip dysplasia, joint injuries, patella luxation, ruptured cruciate ligaments, Lyme disease, fungal infections, and obesity.

How arthritis effects your pet will depend on the type of arthritis.  There are several types of arthritis in dogs and cats, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid, non-erosive, and infectious.  The causes of arthritis may vary, but the symptoms are often the same.  All types of arthritis are painful, and if left untreated, can result in varying degrees of lameness.

The most common symptoms of arthritis are usually more visible in the early morning, after naps, and during cold or damp weather.  Early symptoms of arthritis include limping, stiffness, pain while walking, reduced movement, and moving slower than normal.  Symptoms of more severe arthritis may include loss of interest in activities, difficulty walking and climbing stairs, trouble standing up, behavioral changes, swollen joints, fever, loss of appetite, and depression.

After diagnosing your pet with arthritis, your vet may recommend various treatments such as special diets, physical therapy, analgesics, anti-inflammatory pain medication, surgery, acupuncture, or immunosuppressive drugs.  Weight loss will greatly benefit overweight pets and special joint health diets are often recommended.  While there is no cure for arthritis, your pet’s symptoms can be greatly reduced with proper treatment.

To promote your pet’s joint health AVC is offering 10% off joint supplements and joint health prescription diets during the month of May.  If you feel your pet may have arthritis, talk to one of our experienced veterinarians regarding a course of treatment.  If you have any questions regarding arthritis or other joint problems, please feel free to contact our office and speak with a knowledgeable staff member.