Chronic Pain & Arthritis

chronic-pain-arthritisDiagnosis & Treatment for Pets with Chronic Pain in Mississauga

Chronic pain in older pets is most commonly recognized with arthritic conditions. Other sources of chronic pain include:

  • Dental
  • Glaucoma
  • Kidney
  • Pancreatic
  • Prostatic pain
  • Many others

Pets suffer from chronic pain by becoming quiet, withdrawn, and less active. The signs can be terribly subtle.

The first step is diagnosis, based on history, physical examination, and appropriate diagnostic procedures. Maintaining a good body weight is essential to not over-stress the joints. We now have a weight loss food that maximizes lean body muscle, which also helps to burn body fat.

We have many extremely effective options for you to help your pet. Often, people describe their pets as “coming back to life” after starting the treatments that are currently available.

Over the past few years, we have continuously worked on pain control and we have had tremendous success. What this means to you is that your pet can be made so much more comfortable, and you will have an active role in this program.

Many people are amazed at the improvement in the quality of life for their pets once a painful condition has been recognized, diagnosed, and properly treated. You will be surprised at the difference that you can make for your pet!

Click here to learn more about pet pain management.

Contact us now to get started.

Arthritis and Degenerative Joint Disease

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition of the joints and is the most common cause for lameness and chronic pain – found in both pets and people! For our pets, it can start in middle age if the cartilage surface of the joint is injured or from normal aging changes.

Genetics, diet, weight, and previous injuries can all play a role.

For arthritis, different pain management and treatment options include new combinations of medications, as well as holistic diets and dietary supplements for joint repair (green lipped mussel, glucosamine, MSM, chondroitin derivatives) and anti‐inflammatory effects (Omega 3 fatty acids).

Dog and Cat Arthritis

Joint pain due to osteoarthritis is a concern with older cats and dogs. Any pet can develop arthritis, but larger breeds of dog and overweight pets place much higher stresses on their joints. Hereditary diseases (hip dysplasia) and previous injuries can also be part of the cause.

Symptoms include:

  • Difficulty rising from resting position, going up or down stairs, or jumping into the car
  • Reluctance to exercise
  • Decreased appetite
  • Increased irritability
  • Stiffness
  • Less activity, such as jumping up
  • Licking their paws
  • Limping

We can sometimes find evidence of arthritis upon examination, as joints begin to “grind”, we can observe pain, and the muscles have begun to deteriorate.

Pets often won’t show more obvious signs of pain – like limping or crying out – until the problem is advanced or severe.


Newer anti-inflammatories and pain control, as well as proven herbal supplements, can provide excellent relief from arthritis pain in dogs and cats.

Arthritis treatments are usually more effective in combination, so we may prescribe more than one treatment according to your pet’s needs.

  • Analgesics:

NSAIDs – Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (e.g. Rimadyl, Rheumocam) are effective for pain control and reducing inflammation in arthritic joints. They are relatively safe but we recommend blood tests before and during long-term use. Tramadol, Gabapentin, and Amantadine are pain killers usually given with NSAIDs to lower the dose and increase the safety factor.

  • Cartophen:

This is an injection that often dramatically improves the signs of arthritis through its anti-inflammatory properties and by actual joint repair. It is given once per week for 4 weeks, then once every 1-2 months as required by your pet’s clinical signs.

  • Mobility Support Food:

This will often relieve signs of arthritis. It is low calorie for weight control and contains extremely effective nutraceuticals and omega fatty acids.

  • Cold Laser Therapy:

Cold laser therapy uses laser light for its anti-inflammatory and pain relief effects. Treatment typically involves 3 doses the first week, 2 doses the second week, and then weekly doses as needed.

  • Oral Supplements/Nutraceuticals:

These products provide building blocks for cartilage and joint fluid, helping to alleviate pain.

  • Omega Fatty Acids:

These food supplements are antioxidants, which help to remove the toxic molecules present in many inflammatory conditions, including arthritis.

An initial consultation with periodic follow-ups with your veterinarian will help to determine the most appropriate long-term arthritis treatment program for your pet. 

The sooner you call, the sooner we can help your pet to become more comfortable, so both your family and your pet can enjoy life together.

Book an appointment now!

Sign Up for Our Monthly Pet Newsletter Mississauga Veterinary Hospital

Get Pet Health Tips and Clinic News

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Request Your Vet Appointment

The basic exam fee is $88.10 + HST. We look forward to seeing you and your pet soon!
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.