As winter starts to bite so do the pains of arthritis!

If your pet has arthritis they will have sore joints. When we have sore joints we grumble and moan. We are a wimpy species.

However, pets rarely cry out when they have chronic pain. They tell us they are sore through their body language and behaviour.

It is easier to recognise arthritis in dogs because we take them for walks a couple of times a day. We notice them slowing down, limping, reluctant to get in or out of the car, stiff getting up the next morning. You can get a measure of the impact on your dog’s quality of life by doing the Halifax Canine Mobility Assessment.

It is trickier with cats. They live more independently. They also mask pain more than dogs do. Check out this short video.

Now go to the Halifax Feline Mobility Assessment. This will assist you in painting a realistic picture of your cat’s mobility and recognise if they might be in any joint pain.

At Halifax we have long used a 10 point plan to manage the pain and minimise the long-term damage of osteoarthritis. This includes many things you can do at home. The good news is that there are now two more excellent things to add to our 10-point plan.

The first is remedial massage. This service is provided for dogs by Halifax Veterinary Nurse Jo Pilcher and can give significant improvements in quality of life for arthritis sufferers.

The second is a completely new medical therapy – monoclonal antibody against nerve growth factor (NGF). NGF is produced as part of the inflammatory process in osteoarthritis. It is responsible for triggering a lot of the pain caused by arthritis. The monoclonal antibody treatments, Beransa for dogs and Solensia for cats, have just become available in New Zealand. They are given as an injection once a month. It will be especially welcome in those pets who don’t tolerate other arthritis treatments or need something more to keep them pain free. Cats are notoriously more difficult to medicate than dogs, so Solensia offers new hope for many arthritic cats

Please …. do our online mobility assessment for your pet. If you think your pet – dog or cat – is showing signs of arthritis, make an appointment.

Not all soreness or lethargy is caused by arthritis. We can find out just what is going on and sort out the best treatment plan. Don’t let your pet suffer in silence.

You may also find it interesting to speak with Sophie, the digital human on our website. She has lots of interesting information here about OA and the many treatment options that are available and is quite fun to chat with!

Stay warm and healthy!

Best wishes from the Halifax Team

PS Many of the therapies in our 10-point plan slow the development of osteoarthritis. There is a real benefit in early diagnosis and treatment.