A pet can experience difficulties with their mobility for a variety of reasons. Older pets are more likely to become less mobile due to the ageing process of their joints however, younger pets can also have mobility issues linked with either a trauma or underlying joint disease.
Signs of mobility problems:
- Stiff when rising especially after a sleep or long walk.
- Not as playful or keen to exercise.
- Behavioural changes – either becoming more withdrawn or aggressive.
- Change in gait.
Osteoarthritis is the most common cause of lameness and stiffness in older dogs. It is caused by deterioration of joint cartilage, which is a smooth, resilient tissue that lines the joints, allowing for nearly frictionless joint movement. Deterioration or damage to the cartilage causes increased friction and inflammation. This can erode the bone and cause new bone formation, which interferes with joint movement, causing pain and loss of normal motion.
What We Can Do To Help:
Our Qualified Nurses offer free nurse clinics for pets that are already experiencing mobility problems, as well as for pets that may be likely to develop problems at a later date. The aim of these clinics is to give you the knowledge to help your pet have a comfortable and more mobile life.
Your first appointment will involve both yourself and the nurse assessing your pet's mobility and current pain levels, so that we have a starting point to compare future results to. They will weigh your pet, perform a basic health assessment, and advise on any nutritional or environmental changes your pet may require.
Your nurse will be happy to answer any questions you may have, so don't be worried about asking them anything.
If there are any concerns about the wellbeing of your pet, the nurse may ask you to make an appointment to see a vet.
It would be advisable to initially do monthly checks to make adjustments to medication, supplements, diet and lifestyle, and then once you are more comfortable the checks can be 3-6 monthly.
The practice recommends Royal Canin life stage nutrition. For dogs over 8 we offer Mature size specific food. Cats require higher protein and energy levels in older age and hence we offer Mature food for cats aged 7-10 and Senior diet for cats over 10years old.
For a 4kg cat over 10 years old a 3.5kg bag of senior food could cost as little as 38p per day to feed.
For a 15kg dog a 10kg bag of neutered medium breed adult dog food could cost as little as 94p per day to feed.
Other Ways to Support Joints:
- Controlled, moderate, regular exercise.
- Joint supplements (glucosamine and chondroitin) Seraquin / Synoquin.
- Mobility Support food.
- Ramps to get in / out cars.
- Baby gate to prevent climbing stairs.
- Referral to physio/hydro therapy.
- Joint massage and manipulation at home.
To download all of this information in an easy read booklet please click the diagram below: