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‘Rehabilitation centre’ for pets with mobility problems

A pioneering ‘rehabilitation centre’ for pets with mobility problems has been launched at the new £10 million Small Animal Teaching Hospital at the University of Liverpool to help treat animals with diseases such as osteoarthritis – which affects approximately 20 per cent of adult dogs and 50 per cent of cats over 10 years of age.

The Hill’s Pet Mobility Centre – the first of its kind in Europe – takes referrals from vets who suspect mobility problems in animals they see in practice. Following the patient’s initial assessment by specialist veterinarians and nurses at the centre, the pets have their lameness evaluated on a gait analysis system to enable their progress to be assessed before, during and after treatment. Therapy usually includes a dietary plan, exercise and physiotherapy recommendations.

Director of the University of Liverpool’s Small Animal Hospital and Head of the Hill’s Pet Mobility Centre, Professor John Innes, comments: "Osteoarthritis is an extremely common condition which causes chronic pain and reduced mobility in pets. The disease is often found in medium to large breeds, although small dogs can also suffer from osteoarthritis.

"We’ll be using the data from pets being treated at the centre to improve our understanding of diseases, such as osteoarthritis, and the appropriate treatments for these conditions. We hope that this research will lead to an improved standard of living for these pets."

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