Mobility awareness month with Petstoreo

During May we have been taking a look at the challenges many pets face when suffering from mobility issues. As veterinarians with over forty years of experience, we have seen our fair share of pets suffering from life-limiting joint conditions. 

Our top tips for caring for your pet with mobility issues

  • Always consult your veterinarian if you notice any signs of lameness, stiffness or a change in how your pet moves around and follow treatment plans for medication.

  • Consider a joint supplement such as one from our Flexi range to promote joint health, reduce inflammation and stiffness. 

  • Avoid slippy floors, use rugs or grip strips in areas without carpeting.

  • Use baby gates to restrict access to stairs or ramps to help climb steps if your dog is unstable on them.

  • Ramps can also help when getting in and out of the car or onto the sofa.

  • Keep walkways clear to avoid slips, trips and falls.

  • Foam and memory foam can provide a comfortable bed.

  • Place non-slip feet on food bowls or use a mat to avoid them skidding away while your pet eats.

  • Keep a mobility diary, note down good days and bad. The ISFM has a great mobility checklist for cats found here. 

  • Keep nails trimmed and fur on feet well maintained. You can find our vet designed Kitty Nail clippers and dog nail clippers via the clickable links.

  • Keep your pet at a healthy weight. Check out our weight management blog for advice.

  • CAM have great advice on modifying exercise routines

Is mobility a concern for pets of all ages?

Mobility care should not just be limited to older pets. Some breeds of dog and indeed cats are more prone to abnormal joint development affecting the knees, hips and elbows. Other pets may have had an injury or trauma resulting in damage to the joint.

The progression of one such painful condition, osteoarthritis which can affect dogs as young as one year old, is seen below in our graphic.

The story of Molly, a young collie with a rare spinal tumour

Of course, not all stiff pets have arthritis! A four-year-old border collie named Molly recently underwent extensive surgery and radiotherapy to combat a rare spinal tumour. Molly began limping and went on to suffer collapse and paralysis before her diagnosis via an MRI. Her referral surgeon Dr Mason of Southfields Veterinary Specialists shared an update “Happily, she’s back home now and doing very well. She has her normal mobility again and is really enjoying quality, fun time with her family.” You can read Molly’s story via the link. 

Molly’s story illustrates the important principle that if you have any doubt about what is wrong with your pet consider taking them to your veterinarian for a check!

What does the future hold for the treatment of osteoarthritis in pets?

Much like our own healthcare, veterinary medicine is constantly evolving and improving to give our pets the very best chance at a happy healthy life. During our time as veterinarians, we have seen incredible leaps forward in research and treatment options. 

In the not too distant past, we knew nothing of the disease process of hyperthyroidism in cats. In reality, 1 in 10 middle-aged cats goes on to suffer from the condition.  1 in 10! That’s a significant number. You probably have 10 cats living in your street so at least one of those will develop this condition. Thankfully, these days, we have screening tests and many treatment options including medication, surgery and even radio-active iodine treatment. All with great success in controlling this disease. 

The future of osteoarthritis care is equally as exciting. New technology involving monoclonal antibodies is currently being used to produce medication that combats the chronic joint pain suffered by canine osteoarthritis patients. This will greatly improve their quality of life! You can read about the current research in this article.

Are all joint supplements the same?

In short, no! Some supplements may contain the same ingredients but at lower levels and some may contain different ingredients altogether. It can be a bit of an information minefield. It really does pay to do your research and check the label! 

We drew from our forty years of experience as veterinarians to research and carefully select safe, natural ingredients at the correct levels to support mobility for a healthy lifestyle in dogs and cats of all ages, sizes, and activity levels. We made sure our supplement was palatable and easy to dose as a chew, sprinkle capsule or gel……… we all know what cats are like! 

Here is a brief breakdown of the ingredients we included (see product packaging for individual details as contents differ between range) and their benefits;

  • Green-lipped mussels are packed with chondroitin sulphates, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins E and C, zinc, copper and manganese and can really help reduce joint stiffness and swelling from arthritis. They contain eicosatetraenoic acid, a unique fatty acid with powerful anti-inflammatory effects.

  • Turmeric  – a key component of turmeric is curcumin thought to reduce joint inflammation and pain related to arthritis, rarely found in other joint supplements.

  • Glucosamine and chondroitin are naturally produced in the body to form components of cartilage, the cushion for joints. They are also thought to maintain elasticity and joint lubrication.

  • Hyaluronic acid has been shown to improve joint movement and reduce stiffness.

  • Boswellia serrata has shown preliminary evidence as an anti-inflammatory.

As advocates for our pets and our lifelong goal of preventing unnecessary pain and suffering for any animal we also created this short video to promote arthritis awareness in cats. To think that so many cats suffer the pain of arthritis in silence is terribly sad. 90% of cats over the age of 12 years! Sometimes, a change in your cat’s behaviour such as newly pronounced anxiety or aggression when being handled or approached can be a sign of pain. A sore cat can equal a grumpy cat!

Please share to spread the word and hopefully we can reduce the number of pets silently suffering!

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