Osteoarthritis (OA) or degenerative joint disease (DJD) is a common disorder affecting more than 20% of the canine population and is recognized in other species such as cats, exotics, as well as larger domestic species. Osteoarthritis or DJD is the progressive and permanent long-term deterioration of the cartilage, which surrounds the joints.

The study of the pathology and treatment of OA/DJD in humans and animal species has been long-standing and continues with great intensity. Today, we understand that these diseases are an irreversible complex of both biochemical and biomechanical events within the affected joints. It is not correct to simply think of this disease as part of the normal aging process.


Animals facing OA/DJD generally experience chronic pain and discomfort, muscle weakness, stiff gait, and limited mobility. As we better understand the process of OA/DJD formation in your pet, we can more effectively target our therapies for improved management of the disease. There is no single therapeutic intervention that will give us the best outcome, so it is best that we approach with a combination of therapies to relieve pain, improve joint health, flexibility, as well as mobility.

At the West Chester Veterinary Rehabilitation Specialty Center, Osteoarthritis and degenerative joint disease are treated with a variety of interventions including but not limited to:

  • Massage
  • Therapeutic Exercise
  • Aquatic Therapy
  • Range of Motion Stretches
  • Weight Management
  • Acupuncture
  • Pharmacologic Agents (anti-inflammatories, pain relievers, joint protectors)
  • Nutritional Supplements

Appropriate interventions are chosen on a case by case basis.

Please contact our rehabilitation specialists at 610-696-8712 to set up a consultation and learn about how to manage your pet’s arthritis.