Osteoarthritis in cats and dogs – knowing when the treatment is doing the job

We are all used to seeing a stiff old dog, with a greying muzzle, hobbling along - gamely trying to keep up with its owner on its lead.  Dog lovers might stop, kindly ruffle its ears and think "poor old thing".  Often though, it's osteoarthritis and not age, causing the stiffness.

The prevalence of osteoarthritis in dogs and cats is well recognised, although in cats it can also more easily go undetected, since cats don't tend to demonstrate lameness in the same way as their canine cousins.

Just as humans however, osteoarthritis can be an extremely painful condition that undermines many aspects of an animal's wellbeing, well beyond its mobility.

Thankfully certain animal health organisations are rising to the challenge and working very hard to raise awareness of the condition amongst owners and to improve the welfare of thousands of pets.  NewMetrica is working with several of these companies at the moment, including Lintbells, Zoetis and Canine Arthritis Management, effectively measuring the impact of the disease and potential treatments for managing osteoarthritis.

Our clinically proven and validated HRQL tools (health-related quality of life questionnaires) provide holistic physical and emotional wellbeing scores, tailored to each specific animal, which track the progress and change in wellbeing in animals under treatment.  With the help of the owner, who can pick up on subtle behavioural changes in their pet, they effectively give the animal a "voice" to feed back on its own experiences with disease and disease management strategies.

The challenge with any therapeutic intervention is that, although it may alleviate joint pain, it may also cause unwanted side-effects, such as vomiting and diarrhea.  With a wide range of complementary therapies also available, the challenge is knowing what actually works to help an animal. when the animal cannot tell us directly how it is feeling.

It is a regular frustration, both for vets and owners who love their pets, to identify whether specific interventions truly make the animal feel better or worse overall.

As the developer of one of very few validated HRQL tools, NewMetrica is often asked to participate in drug trials, providing a proven measurement tool for health-related quality of life.  Non-invasive, NewMetrica tools are based on owner report, but with proven anti-bias built in, they minimize the effects of owners speaking for their pet.

NewMetrica tools allow animals to "speak for themselves"

For further information, visit  http://www.newmetrica.com