Our latest research has highlighted a worrying statistic about UK canines. Cases of arthritis in dogs has risen by 312% between 2012 and 2015.
As we looked into this data more closely, we found that the number of cases is expected to rise even further to around 369% by the end of 2016.
Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints most commonly caused by abnormal rubbing as a result of damage to the area, and it can cost pet owners up to £3,000 a year to treat.
Today, an estimated one in three dogs are overweight or obese and around one in four cats. The chief reason is that owners are giving their pets excess or inappropriate food.
However, not all dogs with arthritis have been overfed. Today, many dogs are living longer, and arthritis is a disease linked with old age. There is also a greater awareness of the condition than there was a few years ago.
Dog owners who think their pet may have arthritis should always contact their local vet, he advises. Possible treatments including a weight-management programme, joint supplements, anti-inflammatory drugs and pain-killers to ease discomfort.
Our analysis also revealed the breeds most likely to develop the condition with Golden Retrievers being most common, followed by Labrador Retrievers, Greyhounds, Boxers and Rottweilers.
We asked a spokesperson from The Society of Practising Veterinary Surgeons about just how much it would cost to care for a pet with arthritis. A spokesperson said that “the cost of on-going maintenance and monitoring of the condition will range from a basic level of 50p a day per 10kg to an intense multi-augmented support and monitoring of £2-3 a day per 10kg.
“The levels of treatment required are hugely variable between the numerous conditions and even between pets with the same underlying condition and certainly between vets diagnosing and treating the same condition.”
The average adult golden retriever weighs approximately 30kg, which means that the cost of treatment for arthritis could reach as much as £9 per day – or over £3000 a year.
The perception that arthritis only occurs in older animals is slowly being proven false, however the costs of maintaining the condition can be a huge shock to owners.
Animals are living much longer now, which means that age related diseases are going to become increasingly common for pets.
Alongside taking out pet insurance to protect your animals, owners can also help keep their companions healthy by educating themselves on this condition; including what signs to look out for and when to take your pet to the vet.