Stillwater News Press

May 7, 2013

Oklahoma State veterinarian will discuss arthritis and pets at 7 Tuesday

By Chase Rheam
Stillwater NewsPress

STILLWATER, Okla. — Managing the well being of pets can be a strenuous and stressful routine for animals with health issues.

However, a seminar to be held Tuesday night will assist owners whose pets have arthritis.

“Managing Arthritis in the Aging Pet” will occur at 7 p.m. Tuesday in McElroy Hall on the Oklahoma State University campus. Dr. Laura Sypniewski, a Henthorne clinical professor in small animal medicine, will present the seminar.

“I think one of the downsides of our successes of having animals living longer is that arthritis becomes a bigger problem in both dogs and cats,” Sypniewski said.

Pets that live beyond middle age will probably deal with some form of arthritis, she said.

Sypniewski said osteoarthritis is characterized by the breakdown of a joint’s cartilage. This results in the loss of cartilage which can mean bone on bone contact which can severely hurt an animal. She said it can affect any joint.

“Most of the time we deal with hips, knees and elbows,” Sypniewski said. “Those are the big ones that I see, but they can develop arthritis in their feet, their ankles and in their vertebrae column; pretty much anywhere there is a joint.”

Sypniewski said the most important thing is prevention.

“You can’t prevent injuries and trauma, but you can keep your animal trim and thin,” she said.

Once a pet has osteoarthritis, there are options, including the control of pain through prescribed medications and recommended supplements.

For more information, call 744-7672.