What is osteoarthritis?

As the name suggests, "osteo" refers to bone, and "itis" refers to inflammation. A degenerative disease, it progressively gets worse over time if left untreated.

Arthritis affects at least one in five dogs and cats and is the number one cause of chronic pain. It can significantly impact their quality of life, dramatically reducing their ability to walk, run, jump and play. 

What causes osteoarthritis (OA)?

The number one cause of arthritis is wear and tear on the protective layer of the done, called cartilage. This wear and tear creates inflammation within the joint, leading to pain and further degradation of the cartilage cells. 

Other factors that may increase the risk of osteoarthritis include:

  • Genetics: certain breeds of dogs and cats are more prone to developing osteoarthritis than others due to underlying joint problems, such as hip dysplasia.

  • Previous injury:  dogs or cats with previous injuries to their joints, such as those sustained in a road accident or dislocation, are more likely to develop osteoarthritis later in life in the damaged joints.

  • Obesity: obesity is considered a risk factor due to the increased stress and wear of excess weight on the joints. That's why it's important to ensure your pet maintains a healthy weight - so go easy on the treats!

If you’re concerned your pet might be suffering from arthritis, please call us to arrange a check-up.