Elanco says OA is a condition which is estimated to affect one in four dogs, but it is often labelled by owners as "just old age". This, says the company, may lead to missed diagnosis and dogs not receiving the care they need.
To try and help address the issue, Elanco has partnered with the founder of Canine Arthritis Management, Hannah Capon and veterinary communications consultant, Zoe Belshaw to produce a number of online and in-practice tools.
The first of these is a worksheet to help veterinary surgeons explain the impact of OE on the client's dog, both in and outside the home. It provides a template for creating a tailored management plan and a guide to the home adaptations owners can make to help improve their dog's quality of life.
The company has also produced a infographic fact sheet which explains the subtle signs of OA, designed for vets and nurses to use as part of their regular interactions with owners.
Elanco has also designed a range of digital materials for veterinary practices to use on their websites and social media feeds to increase awareness of the condition among their online communities.
Hannah Capon said: "Arthritis affects every dog differently – a dog may be full of life but lame, quiet, unenthused and slow to move, or somewhere in-between.
"Home management needs to be tailored to each dog’s needs and adapted in the same way it would be for a person, to prolong life and minimise pain and further injury."
Lastly, Elanco has also produced a film in which Zoe Belshaw gives advice about the language and strategies veterinary surgeons can use to help improve communication with dog owners about OA.
Zoe Belshaw said: "My research identified that many owners do recognise their arthritic dog has a problem before it’s diagnosed. Many will have seen that their dog is stiff, or ‘slowing down’ but they may not associate this with lameness, or pain.
"That’s why vets, nurses and practices play a critical role in raising awareness of how the condition impacts dogs every day."
To access the suite of assets visit: www.myelanco.co.uk
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