Charlie's Arthritis Diagnosis

Regular health screenings are so important for your pet, especially for early diagnosis of disease. As animals get older, they tend to encounter more problems which makes regular examinations even more important. Read Charlie’s story below.

Charlie is a nine-year-old whippet who has lived a happy, healthy life. He has visited the vet every six months for his regular nose-to-tail health check which is one of the benefits of him being on the Medivet Healthcare Plan. Before his health check his owner noticed he was walking more slowly, but not enough to cause concern and simply put this down to Charlie getting older.

Charlie went for his health check and despite being in good general health, the vet noticed that he was wincing when she put pressure near his joints. She recommended that Charlie have an x-ray to determine the cause of his pain. The x-rays showed that, unfortunately, Charlie had developed arthritis due to the natural wear and tear of his joints.

Luckily, the arthritis was picked up at a relatively early stage due to Charlie’s observant owner and the skill of the vet during his six-monthly health check. Charlie was prescribed anti-inflammatory medication to reduce the pain and swelling in his joints and the vet discussed the benefits of hydrotherapy and joint supplements both of which can further help his condition. Although not the case with Charlie, making sure your pet has a healthy, balanced diet and maintains a healthy weight is very important as this reduces pressure on their joints.

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Here are some reminders of why regular health checks are so important for pets, especially as they get older:

  • They enable early detection of diseases
  • A pet’s weight can be monitored, and changes implemented if required
  • Many systems can be checked through a full nose to tail examination, including a pet’s teeth, heart, joints, and eyes
  • There is the ability to discuss symptoms that are often believed to be a sign of ‘getting old’ but may indicate other issues such as slowing down being a result of arthritis
  • They provide an opportunity for owners to ask questions
  • Nutritional advice can be given which is tailored for their life stage/condition
  • Behavioural changes can be discussed
  • Advice can be given for changes to both the pet’s lifestyle and household to support them in later life (e.g. using ramps, changing exercise regimes and diets)
  • Advice can be given on medication and supplements that can support older pets
  • Clinical advice can be given on screening ailments for conditions such as diabetes and kidney disease

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Charlie is on the Medivet Healthcare Plan, so his nose-to-tail health check was included. It was a regular health check in which his arthritis was first discussed and then identified. He receives 10% off all current and ongoing medications, vet care and food bought in a Medivet practice. For other benefits included read here, if you’d like to find out more about our Medivet Healthcare Plan or sign your pet up, speak to your local practice.