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January 29, 2010 at 1:15 PMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Does Surgery Help Pet Arthritis?

By Smarty More Blogs by This Author

Surgery is one of many treatment options available for treating arthritis in your pet. Talk with your vet to see if surgery is the right option for you and your pet. Surgery is not a possibility for every animal

Success in Surgery

Surgery is an option for younger animals, particularly large dogs. The success of the surgery depends on how much the bones and the joint have deteriorated. In dogs, joints can be reconstructed to improve stability, and parts of damaged bones can be removed. Hip-joint replacement is becoming more common. Sometimes joints are fused together when an animal is in extreme pain, but this procedure is not very common. Surgery for arthritis is not usually performed on cats because of their small size. But sometimes a part of the upper leg (femoral) bone in the hip joint is removed. The cat develops a false joint, which relieves the pain.

When Surgery isn't an Option

Surgery is not the only available treatment for arthritis, so you have plenty of options open to you if surgery is not possible for your pet. Many owners have improved the lives of their arthritic pets by making changes in their environment, diet and exercise programs. The use of supplements has also proven to be effective in treating arthritis.

Weight Management in Pets

Maintaining a healthy weight in your pet is always important, but even more so when the pet has arthritis. Extra weight puts unnecessary pressure on joints already in pain. And most treatments work better on healthy animals with a normal weight. You control what your pet eats, so it is up to you to make him lose weight if he needs to.

The Importance of Exercise

Pets who have arthritis should exercise less than healthy pets, but enough to maintain muscle strength. Another benefit of exercise is that it loosens them up so they are more comfortable. It is important to give your pet exercise every day; waiting till the weekend could do more harm than good. Swimming is an excellent exercise for arthritic dogs. It works the muscles but is easy on the joints. Stay away from jumping exercises; they are hard on the joints.

Other Tips for Arthritic Pets

Make sure your arthritic pet stays warm Arthritis feels worse in damp and cold weather, so try to keep your pet as warm as possible. If he will put up with it, give him a pet sweater and lots of blankets. You may want to keep your house warmer too. Supplements and alternative medicine for arthritis treatment in pets can be an option to relieve arthritis pain symptoms. Some supplements can add vital nutrition that is missing from the diet and help to rebuild cartilage in the joints, or at least slow further degradation. Supplements can be used for cats, dogs, horses and humans with arthritis. Many pets also respond favorably to acupuncture and massage therapy.


Photo Credit: hitworm

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