|Don't Let Your Pet Suffer with Arthritis|
There is a lot of help available for this common health problem, says Stewart Halperin
In his second regular column Stewart Halperin, founder and head vet at six Petcare Clinics, including popular local clinics in Goldhawk Road and Brook Green, discusses a common health problem among older pets.
Arthritis is the second most common reason we see pets in our clinics, the first being problems eating which are usually associated to painful teeth or gum disease.
It is estimated that 80% of dogs over eight years of age and 60% over 12 suffer from some degree of stiffness which is usually (but not always) an arthritic condition.
Many owners we see say to us that they accept stiffness and the occasional lameness or slowing down as part of old age, but we know that there is so much help available for these animals, that we prefer them to come in and see us so we can help.
Apart from very effective pain relief, we often will use anti inflammatories that preserve the cartilage from becoming further damaged.
We also find that in some cases, some of these treatment options may be limited for a particular animal. For example, some animals may not be able to take drug medications because of adverse reactions and some owners prefer a drug free option.
In these cases, laser therapy, which is a painless five minute treatment works very well. We give a course of six treatments over two weeks and then top up treatments as are required. If you look at our website there are some videos explaining all this
Finally, we are the first general practice in the UK to carry out Stem Cell Therapy for dogs & cats with arthritis and bone and tendon injuries. This includes hip dysplasia, degenerative joint disease, calcification, common degeneration and inflammation, as well as cruciate ligament damage.
The treatment is very popular and very successful in the States, with 85 % of dogs showing significant improvement in mobility and comfort within weeks of the treatment, some within days.
In 2012 we were trained by a visiting surgeon from the US in these procedures and we have our own stem cell lab in our North Kensington branch.
Stem cell therapy is a very useful addition to conventional treatments for arthritis that may not be effective enough in limiting pain or improving mobility.
Again if you look at our separate stem cell website there is plenty of information.
October 9, 2013