A new study by the University of Liverpool into treating osteoarthritis in dogs is in need of some willing participants.

A new study by the University of Liverpool into treating osteoarthritis in dogs is in need of some willing participants.

Osteoarthritis, a debilitating disease of the joints leading to inflammation and gradual loss of cartilage, affects about 20 per cent of dogs over the age of one. Osteoarthritis, which can result in severe pain and lameness, is incurable but can be managed through a combination of medication, altered nutrition and exercise.

Now veterinary scientists at the University of Liverpool are undertaking a large scale study to compare the effects of two common licensed treatments for osteoarthritis in dogs.

The study requires dogs who are older than one year, weigh more than 10kg and have either been diagnosed with arthritis by their vet or whose owners believe they are suffering from arthritis.  Signs that dogs might be suffering from osteoarthritis include stiffness or a limp after rest, reluctance to go for walks, or slowing down while on walks or a noticeable limp. 

Ben Walton, from the university’s Small Animal Teaching Hospital, said: “We need around 100 dogs for this study, which will be examining the effectiveness of two well-known treatments for canine osteoarthritis. The dogs will take part for a 12-week period, and during this time medication will be dispensed at no charge to the owner.  The dog will need to visit the University of Liverpool’s Small Animal Teaching Hospital at Leahurst on the Wirral four times during the 12 weeks for an evaluation by an orthopaedic vet. The risk of side effects from the medication is low.”

If you are interested in taking part in the study, contact Ben Walton on 0151 795 6329 or email ben.walton@liv.ac.uk

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