Osteoarthritis (OA) is a common disease in aging dogs and cats but frequently goes undiagnosed and untreated. Although OA cannot be cured, long-term management of the disease can be very rewarding for the veterinary medical team as well as pet owners. Managing pain with pain medications is an essential first step. There are a wealth of pain medications available, including nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs, gabapentin, amantadine, and tramadol. There are also physical modalities available for pain reduction. Weight management and nutritional joint support are also important in aspects of managing OA in dogs and cats. Finally, physical rehabilitation is a great way to improve mobility and keep pets active as they age.
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