Degenerative joint disease is a common problem, which occurs in the elbow, hip, knee, wrist, ankle, shoulder or spine of our pets. It can arise from the ordinary daily use and age of our pets, though it can also arise due to a painful incident. Amongst those pets suffering more often of the disease are the obese, the more athletic or those with congenitally abnormal joints.
In Osteoarthritis the cartilage in the joint is worn out slowly, leaving the pet without shock absorbers for the joints, thus causing pain and impeding its movements. It is difficult to detect for it does not affect the nerves an offers no forewarning, once the cartilage has started to wear out it is difficult to treat and reconstruct.
Commons signs for DJD are problems in climbing stairs as well as standing and sitting positions. Pets no longer jump off and on the divans or beds as eagerly as they used to and are often touchier. They tend to limp and no longer like to take long walks, although the stiffness is less obvious once they have warmed up.
The veterinarian can check for the disease through x-rays and analyse the liquid in the joints, then prescribe a treatment in order to help the pet suffer less from the disease.
The disease can be treated with a combination of several more or less effective therapies, including weight loss, physical therapies, nutritional supplements and drugs to improve inflammation.