Causes for shoulder arthritis

One of the most common causes of shoulder osteoarthritis in dogs is Osteochondrosis Dissecans (OCD). This condition often occurs in young or large dogs when cartilage fails to form bone. With osteoarthritis, range of motion may be limited, partly due to deposits or thickened joint capsule and to pain in the outer parts of the joint.

Frequently occurring symptoms

Depending on the type and severity of the disease, symptoms of shoulder osteoarthritis can be mild to severe.

  • Hincing
  • Changes in walking
  • Changes in mood
  • Decreased activity
  • Stiffness
  • Pain on examination or manipulation of the shoulder
  • Decreased appetite or other behavioural changes

Veterinarians may observe more subtle signs of shoulder osteoarthritis on examination, such as subtle lameness or muscle atrophy in the forelimbs. Pets with mild shoulder osteoarthritis sometimes show no signs, especially in the early stages.

Common treatment methods

Some conditions that contribute to shoulder osteoarthritis can and should be treated surgically, including severe OCD. For dogs whose condition does not require surgery or who are not good candidates for surgery, medical treatment can be sought. In general, a combination of pain management methods is ideal for pets suffering from shoulder pain. Possible treatments include:

  • Activity restriction
  • Pain medication
  • Dietary supplements
  • Physiotherapy
  • Chiropractic care
  • Acupuncture
  • Revising the home to minimise jumping or slipping
  • Maintaining a lean body weight

Laser therapy for shoulder arthritis

Medical low energy laser (LLLT) treatment method gaining popularity. Lasers can combat pain, swelling and inflammation throughout the body. By targeting affected tissue at the cellular level, these Class 3B medical lasers trigger beneficial physiological activities to promote healing and recovery – where and when it is needed most. This results in:

  • Increased production of collagen, enzymes and adenosine triphosphate (ATP, a major energy source)
  • Increased protein synthesis and cellular metabolism
  • Improved blood flow and lymphatic drainage

The benefits of these therapeutic effects on dogs and cats are numerous, including a reduction in chronic pain. LLLT
has been shown to be safe and effective, with no known side effects.

LLLT is a beneficial treatment in combination with other therapies for shoulder pain, regardless of the underlying condition. Whether your dog suffers from arthritis or is recovering from OCD surgery, LLLT can provide both pain relief and accelerated wound healing by reducing inflammation and stimulating cell regeneration. The PowerCure Pro is a handheld device that offers all the benefits of laser therapy for use in the comfort of your own home.

Treatment protocol

Read the PowerCure Pro user manual carefully before performing any treatment. Always wear safety glasses when using your PowerCure Pro. Do not expose others around you to the laser beams when treating with PowerCure Pro.

Most dogs with shoulder osteoarthritis can follow the following protocols. The exact placement of the PowerCure Pro depends on your pet’s condition and pain area, but a general guideline is as follows:

  1. Place the device behind the shoulder joint for 30 seconds.
  2. Place the device in front of the shoulder joint, for 30 seconds.
  3. Place the device above the shoulder joint, for 30 seconds.
  4. Place the device below the shoulder joint, for 30 seconds.
  5. Walk over each point 3 times and work up until you hold the laser stationary over each point for 60 seconds.

The effect varies, so keep using your PowerCure Pro. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.