Osteoarthritis (OA) is a debilitating condition affecting up to 20% of canine and 60% of feline patients. While diagnosis is fairly straightforward, the aetiology behind the disease process, and therefore the treatment strategies, is not. Multimodal management is the mainstay of controlling clinical signs and ensuring patient comfort, however this involves potentially long-term pharmacological and dietary control, and requires significant client compliance. Research into disease pathogenesis and treatment strategies is ongoing but evidence, especially relating to many therapies and nutritional supplements, is currently lacking. Genetic research continues, as does that into mesenchymal stem cell therapy and cartilage repair and regeneration, but clinical ‘cure’ remains a distant objective. This series of two articles aims to briefly cover the basic concepts relating to OA and its management, and some new treatment strategies will be discussed. The hope is that by presenting the basic facts and concepts, the reader will be able to build on this knowledge and approach the case of the osteoarthritic animal in a well-considered manner.
- Degenerative joint disease
- Small animal