Arthritis is a general term for abnormal changes in a joint. It can be triggered by infection, congenital defects, and stress or trauma to joint surfaces. It causes pain, swelling and stiffness in joints.
It’s a very common condition, affecting about 1 in 5 adult dogs, and is one of the most common causes of chronic pain treated by vets.
How can I tell if my dog or cat has arthritis?
Look for the subtle clues that they may be in some discomfort;
• Favouring one leg more than another
• Difficulty sitting or standing, hesitancy to jump, run or climb stairs
• Sleeping more or being less alert
• Seeming to have stiff or sore joints
• Weight gain or decreased muscle tone
• Decreased activity or less interest in play
• Temperament or behaviour changes
Thermal Imaging gives an early indication of increased heat in the joints and is 40 times more senstive than the human hand. The right hand scale shows the temperature of each area.
This dog has a warmer left hock in comparison to the right. In the early stages of arthritis joints appear warmer.
In the latter stages of arthritis the joints appear cooler. This dog has a cooler left hock in comparison to the right.
If you think your pet may have arthritis it’s important to get a diagnosis from your vet, and to start a treatment programme as soon as possible.
A physical examination and x-rays will determine whether there are any changes to their joints. Thermal Imaging can also determine whether there are any physiological changes, which overly either the early stages of arthritis (when the joints are warmer), or the latter stages when the joints appear cooler.
Unlike an x-ray, Thermal Imaging is non-invasive, doesn’t emit any radiation, and doesn’t require your dog or cat to be anaesthetised. It shows whether there are any problem areas, pinpointing where they are so that your vet can perform specific tests, and also highlights where there may be secondary problems or other affected joints which could be overlooked.
Thermal Imaging of your dog or cat's legs costs just £40, and can be conducted in the comfort of your own home.