Morley Vetcentre
20 Rudloc Rd
Morley, WA, 6062

info@vetcentre.com.au
www.vetcentre.com.au
Phone: 08 9275 3000
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Contents of this newsletter

01  Keeping an eye out for arthritis

02  Treatment options for arthritis

03  An arthritis-friendly home

04  Alert for all cat owners

05  One very helpful dog

01 Keeping an eye out for arthritis
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Our pets are more likely to suffer from arthritis during the colder weather so now is a great time for an arthritis check with us. Most of the signs of arthritis are subtle and will sneak up on your pet over many years. You may not even realise that your pet is in pain.

Arthritis is caused by the wearing down of the smooth cartilage that covers the bones at the end of a joint. Usually this cartilage helps joints move freely but as time goes by, the ends of the bones become exposed and rub together. Ouch! You can imagine this causes your pet considerable pain.

Your pet won’t necessarily limp. Some of the more subtle signs to watch out for include:

Dogs:

  • Might have trouble jumping into the car or up on the couch
  • Will be stiff and sore when getting going - especially in the morning or after lying down
  • May show behaviour changes such as being grumpy when touched on the back

Cats:

  • Will be hesitant to jump up or down from your lap or from the furniture
  • Might land ungracefully (in a heap!) when jumping down
  • Will become reluctant to climb the back fence or climb trees
  • Sometimes have a scruffy or matted coat as they are no longer able to groom comfortably

Don’t be tempted to put these changes down to 'he's just getting old' as your pet may be in significant pain. 

The good news is that there is plenty we can do to slow the progression of the disease and make sure your pet is pain free. Book an appointment today and we'll establish whether your pet has arthritis.

02 Treatment options for arthritis
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If we’ve diagnosed your pet with arthritis we will work with you to come up with a suitable management plan. A well-rounded approach will help your pet get the most out of life. 

Some of the treatments might include:

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

Help to reduce pain and inflammation quickly. Can be given short term but may be needed for the rest of your pet’s life - we just need to monitor your pet’s kidney and liver function.

Note: It is critically important that you do not give human arthritis medications to your dog.

Disease modifying drugs

Given as a regular injection, these help to relieve pain and help to preserve joint cartilage. Read more here

Nutriceuticals

Supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin may be helpful in improving your pet’s joint function and may help slow down the progression of arthritis.

Diet modification

A diet high in essential fatty acids (with added nutriceuticals) may help reduce inflammation and improve your pet’s mobility. Ask us about the specific prescription diets we have available.

It’s essential you return for regular check ups so we can assess the progress of your pet and ‘tweak’ the program if necessary.

03 An arthritis-friendly home
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To help your arthritic pet live a comfortable life we recommend a balanced and multi-targeted approach. This can help reduce the need for large amounts of medication and lessen the potential side effects of any one treatment.

A few small changes at home can help improve your pet’s comfort so here are our top tips:

  1. Keep your pet’s weight in a healthy range to reduce the load on the joint
  2. Provide a dry and comfortable bed, away from draughts and with plenty of padding – heated beds are a good idea for winter
  3. Use a portable ramp to help your dog in and out of the car
  4. Provide an additional piece of furniture so your cat doesn't have to jump so high to reach his favourite sunny spot
  5. Continue to exercise your pet in moderation; gentle daily walks for dogs help keep the joints moving and muscles toned

Ask us for more information on how to make your home arthritis friendly.

04 Alert for all cat owners
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As yet another reminder about the importance of vaccination, The Australian Veterinary Association has received reports that there’s been a re-emergence of feline infectious enteritis (also known as feline parvovirus or feline panleukopenia).

This disease is highly contagious and is spread by contact with faeces, urine and blood from infected cats. Cats may seem lethargic, have a fever or suffer from diarrhoea and vomiting. It can cause death in a very short time in some cats.

Cats that do recover from the infection can continue to shed virus for at least six weeks. Therefore cats can still be a potential source of infection without demonstrating any clinical signs. Once shed, the virus can survive for months to years in the environment.You can read more information about the virus here.

The widespread use of effective vaccines has dramatically reduced the presence of this virus over the past 20 years. However recently, the virus has become more prevalent again, particularly in Victoria so it is VITAL that your cat’s vaccinations are up to date.

Call us today to check on your cat's vaccination status. 

05 One very helpful dog
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Does your pet like to help out around the home? 

This month we've found a couple of very impressive videos for you. Baron, a German Shepherd, helps stack the dishwasher - and sort the laundry!

What an amazing pooch! It's time to start delegating those household jobs.