Arthritis: Helping Your Pet Age Gracefully


Arthritis: Helping your pet age gracefully

I remember the first time I realized how quickly pets age, I was 19 years old and back from college visiting my family on spring break.  I watched my then 15-year-old tabby slink her way down the stairs to greet me and was shocked at how old she looked.  Her orange fur was less vibrant, and her spunky attitude was now mellow.  My once rambunctious green eyed kitten was now an old lady.

Since becoming a vet, I have learned so many things.  The things that have stuck with me the most have been topics that I wished my vet had spoken to me and my family about.  One topic in particular is osteoarthritis/arthritis.  This topic is often overlooked and just attributed to the natural process of aging.  Although arthritis can be an unfortunate part of aging, there are many steps that can be taken to slow the progression and/or allow pets to at least feel more comfortable as they age.

Arthritis is inflammation localized to a joint, and can cause intense pain and swelling.  An arthritic pet may behave similar to humans with arthritis, in that their clinical signs may be more severe in the morning and during cold weather. Below are some of the clinical signs of arthritic pets:

❏ Becomes less active

❏ Gets up slowly

❏ Walks stiffly or limps

❏ Has swollen joints

❏ Yelps

❏ Hesitates or refuses to climb stairs

❏ Changes in mood

❏ Licks at limb frequently

If you notice any of these signs (read more here or you are concerned that your pet may develop arthritis in the future—PLEASE CONTACT YOUR VET.  There are many preventatives and treatment options now available.  We are here to help you navigate the sometimes-difficult waters of caring for an aging pet, and although we cannot reverse aging, we can help your pet age gracefully.

Natalie Alberg, DVM

As always, with any questions, do not hesitate to contact us at (303)691-3720 or

Cold Laser Therapy For Dogs

cold laser therapy for dogs

Cold laser therapy for dogs and cats. Yes or no?

Definitely yes! One of the more recent trends seen in veterinary medicine is hospitals now offering cold laser therapy for dogs and cats. This may sound like a scary procedure for a pet, but it is actually a great therapeutic option for many disease processes! Cold laser therapy is a non-invasive procedure that uses light to stimulate cell regeneration.

What does this help:

  • Inflammation
  • Tissue swelling
  • Pain control

Cold laser therapy is used at Gentle Touch Animal Hospital in Denver, CO. as part of treatment regimens for dogs and cats with:

  • Post-operative incision treatment
  • Arthritis, tendon or soft tissue injuries
  • Delayed wound healing
  • Anal gland infections
  • Ear infections
  • Lick wounds

Best of all, pets do not need to be clipped or shaved prior to cold laser therapy and there is no need for sedation. In fact, many pets at Gentle Touch Animal Hospital find the therapy relaxing!

As always, feel free to contact us with any questions at 303.691.3720,,  or