Las Vegas Veterinary Hospital Detects and Treats Arthritis in Pets
Arthritis frequently affects larger breeds of dogs such as Retrievers, German Shepherds, Newfoundlands, and Mastiffs simply because they tend to be more active and have sizeable joints. Small dog breeds commonly diagnosed by your veterinarian in Las Vegas with arthritis include basset hounds, bulldogs, dachshunds and other short-legged dogs. An inflammatory disease typically seen in older pets, arthritis develops when joint cartilage and bones start breaking down and lose their ability to streamline joint functioning. Without sufficient amounts of healthy cartilage to prevent bones from rubbing together, your pet's joints experience increased inflammation and degradation as the joint essentially starts collapsing.
Symptoms of Pet Arthritis
Arthritis in dogs slowly reduces their range of motion as affected joints stiffen from lack of flexible cartilage. Arthritic joints may swell as bones scrape against each other, exacerbating the inflammation already present. Your dog may limp, refuse to walk on a certain leg, rise more slowly from a sitting position and whine if the joint is extremely painful. He may sleep or remain in one position longer than usual to avoid using the joint. Animals in pain are often irritable and anti-social as well. If your dog uncharacteristically nips or growls at you while presenting these symptoms, he may need to see a veterinarian near Las Vegas for arthritis treatment for dogs.
Cat arthritis symptoms are similar to dog arthritis symptoms with a few exceptions. For example, cats with joint disease may hesitate to jump or leap, avoid stepping into a litterbox due to stiff, painful joints and significantly decrease normal feline activity. In addition, both dogs and cats with arthritis may lick affected joints excessively (massage their joints with their tongue) as a way to assuage the pain.
How Our Veterinarian in Las Vegas Diagnoses Arthritis in Pets
Your vet will give your pet a thorough physical examination and ask you about your pet's health history and symptoms. Blood work and/or urinalysis may be ordered to identify inflammatory markers in your pet's body. X-rays and ultrasounds are excellent tools for assessing damage to arthritis joints by showing deterioration of joints, joint space narrowing and thickening of soft tissues. Digital x-rays also reveal the extent of bone and cartilage changes and whether osteophytes (tiny calcified bodies worsening arthritis pain) have developed in the joint. A procedure called a bone nuclear scintigraphy helps your vet further localize areas of arthritis to initiate effective arthritis pain relief for dogs and cats. Finally, analyzing joint synovial fluid provides information about the severity of inflammation in joints.
Cat and Dog Arthritis Treatment
A combination of mild to moderate exercise therapy, weight management (if necessary) and veterinary medications will allow your pet to enjoy a relatively normal, pain-free life with you. Arthritis treatment for dogs and cats include administration of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications or steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as prednisone. Steroids are generally prescribed only for advanced cases of arthritis since they tend to have adverse side effects.
Contact Gentle Doctor Animal Hospital for More Information Today!
If you suspect your pet may be suffering arthritis, please contact Gentle Doctor Animal Hospital today at (702) 259-9200 to schedule an appointment at our Las Vegas veterinary hospital.