The inflammation of one or several joints (hip, elbow, shoulder, knee), arthritis, is an acute or chronic disease that affects many pets at some point in their life. Although it is a degenerative disease, it is possible to offer your pet some relief and to slow its progression.
What are the signs of arthritis in cats and dogs?
- Stiffness after a period of rest or exercise (difficulty getting up)
- Difficulty going up or down stairs, getting in or out of the car, jumping onto furniture
- Less interest in physical activity in general
- Less fluid movements
- Signs of aggressivity when joints are touched
- Isolation, spending more time alone than usual
- Difficulty with self-cleaning
- Limping and/or tremors
Is it just a sign that my pet is getting older?
Although it is more common among older pets, animals of all ages can suffer from arthritis. It might be the result of an accident (trauma), a hereditary or genetic trait (something they’re born with), excess weight, or premature deterioration of the cartilage that protects the joints as a result of intense and repetitive exercise.
Are there any treatments for the pain caused by arthritis?
There are several treatment options for relieving the discomfort caused by arthritis. Your veterinarian will be able to discuss them with you. For example, dietary changes can prove beneficial for slowing the progress of the disease. Proper weight management also helps avoid overloading the joints. A regularly scheduled, low-impact exercise program is a good idea too. Medication to relieve your pet’s pain is something to consider as well. In all cases, regular veterinary check-ups are key for managing the situation and avoiding needless suffering. We will let you know how often your companion should come in for an appointment.