FOUR out of five older dogs will suffer from arthritis, and many cats too, so one local veterinary practice is launching some special clinics to help owners keep their cats and dogs mobile.

Paragon Vets, of Carlisle, have been holding mobility clinics at Dalston and Newbiggin surgeries to help pet owners care for their pets. The aim is to make your pets more comfortable and help them live a longer, happier life.

They are for pets with any number of mobility issues, whether they are caused by accidents, osteoarthritis, recovery after surgery, or conditions such as arthritis.

An initial consultation is booked with one of the vets, who will carry out a mobility assessment. Then one of the practice’s qualified veterinary nurses will be able to discuss a range of techniques and things you can do to help your pet. The practice will then work with you to create a plan tailored to the needs of your pet.

Some practical advice for pet-owners that can help make their dogs more comfortable:

Regular exercise: If your dog is having mobility problems you must ensure they still get some exercise to keep them moving and prevent them stiffening up. Be sure to make the exercise is gentle, low impact, and just for a short period of time if they have more severe problems.

Weight control: Overweight pets will be placing extra strain on their joints, worsening the pain of arthritis. Helping your dog slim down is a good idea if they are having trouble with their joints.

Upgrade their bed: Having a deep and supporting bed can make a big difference to a pet having difficulties with their joints and bones. A well-padded and deep bed will be a big help in supporting them and easing pain.

Help at home: If your pet is having difficulty moving about, it is worth thinking about the environment around your house. Arthritis can make dogs unsteady on their feet so, if you have slippery floors, for example, consider some secure rugs to help them get traction.

Get advice: The Paragon veterinary nurses will be happy to talk you through options for physiotherapy and massage, and discuss any ways a change of diet might help your pet.

One major issue that contributes to mobility problems in your pets is arthritis. Arthritis is a non-curable and progressive disease that is the most common cause of chronic pain in pets. Put simply, it is the inflammation of the joints that can cause a lot of discomfort for pets - just as it does for humans.

“Osteoarthritis affects four out of five older dogs and also affects a high proportion of older cats,” explains veterinary nurse Donna. “There can be very subtle changes to your pet’s behaviour to indicate early signs of this disease, and they are not always just getting old or slowing up.”

The earlier owners and vets can identify this disease, the better care and treatment your pet can get, to help them live a longer and happier life.

If you think mobility is starting to become an issue for your pet always seek the expert opinion of a vet.

If you feel that your pet would benefit from a consultation, or you would like some more information, please contact the practice on 01228 710208.


Carlisle House, Townhead Road, Dalston, Carlisle, CA5 7JF, Cumbria