What is osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis, or ‘wear and tear’ arthritis, is usually managed without surgery.
Osteoarthritis is often referred to as simply ‘arthritis’, or OA. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition of a joint characterised by wearing away of the joint cartilage and loss of mobility in the joint. It can cause stiffness, pain and lameness. OA is common in dogs. In people primary OA can develop as we get older, without prior disease or injury to a joint. In dogs, however, OA is invariably secondary to another joint problem. The most common joints affected by OA in dogs are the elbow (secondary to elbow dysplasia), the hip (secondary to hip dysplasia) and the knee (secondary to cruciate ligament problems).
Unless it is very severe, osteoarthritis is usually managed non-surgically, except in the knee, which will benefit from Tibial plateau levelling osteotomy surgery (TPLO) if there is a cruciate ligament problem present. There are numerous non-surgical treatment options and most dogs will benefit from a multi-pronged approach.
To complement general OA management we are able to provide treatments directly into the joint, including stem cells and platelet-rich plasma (PRP).
At The Moores Orthopaedic Clinic we can provide an expert assessment of your pet’s OA and a detailed treatment plan.
The plan will vary from pet-to-pet and may include one or more of the following:
- Exercise modification and lifestyle advice
- Medication advice
- Physiotherapy and hydrotherapy advice
- Weight management
- Targeted treatment directly into the joint (e.g. stem cells, PRP, steroids)
Not every dog with OA will have symptoms, but for those that do then the symptoms can range from mild stiffness, often after exercising, to more persistent discomfort and lameness.
No, OA can not be cured. It can, however, often be managed to ensure that your pet remains comfortable and active.
Options include ‘biologic’ treatments such as stem cells and platelet-rich plasma (PRP), joint lubricants and steroids. There are pros and cons to each of these options and we can discuss these with you.