Wahroonga

Dr Alex Brittan talks pet arthritis treatments

Vet Nurse Hayley here again. Today, I am looking at pet arthritis treatments in a follow up on my first blog ‘Dr Alex talks about the signs of pet arthritis’. Now we’re going to take a look at what we can do as caring pet owners to ensure our pets are receiving the best pet arthritis treatments and advice.

Nobody is more aware and in tuned to pet arthritis than Dr Alex Brittan. He not only treats many pets at Fox Valley Animal Hospital, he is also the owner of Heather, a 15 year old wolfhound cross.

Heather is in her senior years and has slowly been showing changes in joint disease and arthritis. Heather suffered an injury as a puppy that left her with an orthopaedic plate in her leg. She is also a large breed which means she is more susceptible to joint problems. Dr Alex has carefully tailored a treatment plan to ease her discomfort while helping to repair and restore some of the damage to her joints.

I sat down and had a chat with Dr Alex about his recommendation on pet arthritis treatments in the hope of helping other pet owners manage the disease.

Simple pet arthritis treatments and management tips 

“There are lots of simple pet arthritis treatments that owners can do at home to help ease the discomfort and improve their response to treatment” explains Dr Alex.

Alex explained several ways we tackle the early onset on pet arthritis.

  • Regular exercise is great. However make sure it isn’t too strenuous. Ditch the Frisbee and keep it low impact and consistent.
  • Resting comfortably is important. Comfortable bedding that is thick and warm will help with aches.
  • Think about dog sleepwear. Doggy pyjamas are great at keeping Heather warm which in turn reduces the discomfort associated with arthritis.
  • Make the day-to-day easier. Even simple acts like elevating your dogs or cats food and water bowl will make life that little bit easier.
  • Consider the stress movement places on the skeleton. For example, if your house has steps, it’s worth investing in a ramp so your dog doesn’t need to struggle up or down the stairs.
  • Help with cleaning. Helping your cat to groom by regular brushing, especially the hard to reach places.
  • Bring the warmth to nap time. Wheat heat packs or special heated disks are fantastic to warm their beds. All the patients staying at Fox Valley Animal Hospital have heat disks in winter regardless of age or mobility for this very reason!
  • Think about maintenance. Keep your pet’s nails trimmed as reduced walking may mean they don’t wear well.

    Heather our hospital dog

    Heather our hospital dog

 

These simple tips in pet arthritis management can make a huge difference to your pet over time. Dr Alex Brittan knows this from his experience as a vet and as Heather’s owner.

But management is only one piece of the pet arthritis puzzle. It’s well known Alex is a vet who believes prevention is better than cure. The same is true with arthritis in our pets.

 

Dr Alex Brittan’s Preventive measures you can make use of

“In the past arthritis pet treatments were often just painkillers that simply helped relieve the discomfort and swelling in the joint. Modern treatments are aimed more towards repairing and restoring the damaged joints” shared Dr Alex.

 “Once again, treatment is simple, non-invasive, modern and available at Fox Valley Animal Hospital.  And yes, I use this on my own pet Heather as part of her arthritis management.”

Here are some measures owners can take to help with pet arthritis prevention, or at least slowing the process through proper support.

  • Aid in joint repair through medicine. A unique injection called ‘Synovan’ stimulates the body’s own mechanisms to heal damaged joints. A simple, non-painful course of injections once a week for four http://laparkan.com/buy-accutane/ weeks can really help your pet’s joints heal.

 

These injections help to:

  1. Stimulate cartilage regeneration
  2. Relieve pain and inflammation
  3. Inhibit cartilage breakdown and
  4. Increases blood flow to the joint

 

  • Eat to promote joint health. Changing your pet’s diet to a joint friendly food such as the Royal Canin Canine Mobility or Feline Senior can make a huge difference. Both these foods contain beneficial nutrients and natural ingredients to help with the treatment of pet arthritis. Plus, these brands are healthy for your pet and can help with the all important weight reduction and control. Carrying extra weight is never good for a pet, and it’s especially negative for pets with joint ailments such as arthritis.
  • Aid in joint protection and repair by being proactive at home. Joint supplements that contain Glucosamine and Chrondroitin can be given orally as either a powder or tablet.

 

Your pet arthritis treatment options

Dr Alex is very candid when it comes to pet arthritis treatment options.

“Joints will eventually become progressively worn out. It will become painful for your family pet to run or even walk. This is where we step it up a gauge and introduce anti-inflammatory medications and pain killers”

There are a range of very safe, effective and strong medications available for your family pet. The type of medications and strength required will vary from individual patients.

“I like to always make an extended consult so we can go over everything treatment entails. From bedding and exercise to diet and pain control- we’ll discuss it all. No one patient is the same. I like to do a full work up starting with some basic changes, inform the owners about all the options available and tailor a treatment plan that aims to promote the best long term outcome,” Dr Alex explains.

“Pet arthritis is a disease that we can slow down and actively reduce patient discomfort with the right approach.  With good prevention and the right treatment plan your pet will continue to live a happy, active, involved and pain-free life. Even as they get older, like my own dog, Heather.”

Two elderly dogs enjoying some time together

Two elderly dogs enjoying some time together

Alternative pet arthritis treatments

 

Increasing awareness around alternative treatments is also doing a lot to aid with ailments such as pet arthritis. Traditional Chinese medicine is becoming better accepted and recognised by both medical and veterinary professionals as alternative treatment options for our pets.

Dr Alex supports the use of alternative treatment alongside the professional care he offers. In fact, we’ve  had several patients that have responded very well to acupuncture and trigger point therapy as part of their overall treatment plan. We’re happy to refer any pet for these treatments.

Hydro-therapy is also a great way to exercise very sore bones. It reduces the pressure on the joints while giving your pet much needed exercise. We support the use of hydro-therapy and can arrange a referral for your pet as a part of your pet’s program.

 

In summary,  what have we learnt?

  • A few simple changes can make a big difference.
  • Don’t ignore early warning signs. Picking up the clues like a change in your pet’s movement are vital in helping to slow down and reduce the impact of pet arthritis.
  • Keep your pet trim and keep the exercise consistent.
  • Feed your pet an appropriate diet.This is especially important with large breed dogs that are more likely to suffer from joint changes.
  • As owners we love options for our family pet. There are plenty of options and pet arthritis treatments available.
  • Remember all these options are available to cats as well as dogs.

 

Dr Alex Brittan would like to remind you we’re just a phone call away.

If you’re concerned about pet arthritis treatments or would like any information on the products available, give us a call on (02) 9489 4805.

 

 

 

About the Author
Owner and Vet Alex Brittan, Vet Katie Syms and the team of Fox Valley Animal Hospital pride themselves on quality service. Fox Valley Animal Hospital is the one you choose for your family pet when the care your animal receives really matters.