CE: Osteoarthritis in cats: diagnosis and treatment options

Episode 251,   Apr 30, 04:05 PM

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Program Description:

Osteoarthritis (or degenerative joint disease) is the most common cause of chronic (maladaptive) pain in cats but is underrecognized by owners and therefore many cats go untreated. Up to 92% of all cats have radiographic changes (radiographic disease) in the axial and appendicular skeleton and these changes are more common in cats over the age of 10. There is often a mismatch between radiographic changes and clinical findings (painful joints, mobility impairment) but the relationship between radiographic changes and clinical disease increases with age. Screening and assessment tools have been developed and validated for cats and should be used to help diagnose the disease and monitor the response to treatment. Treatment is multimodal and includes drug and non-drug therapies in combination with environmental changes to ensure that stress in the affected cat’s household is addressed. Pain related to osteoarthritis is responsive to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and the feline specific anti-nerve growth factor monoclonal antibody, Frunevetmab (Solensia™). Non-drug therapies include Omega-3 fish oil, physical therapy, and acupuncture. Ensuring cats have a safe place to hide, have help with accessing “high” places, and easy-entry litter boxes are important for improving the cat’s quality of life.

Program Agenda: 

Sheilah Robertson, BVMS (Hons), PhD, DACVAA, DECVAA, DACAW, DECAWBM (WSEL), CVA, FRCVS, Lap of Love Veterinary Hospice, discusses diagnosis and treatment options for osteoarthritis in cats. 

Learning Objectives:

  • Recognize the changes in behavior that suggest chronic pain in cats
  • Know how to screen for cats with OA
  • Know which assessment tools can be used to document disability and monitor response to treatment
  • Know what treatment options are available for cats with osteoarthritis