Arthritis in dogs and cats is often overlooked as the symptoms appear gradually over time. There are varying degrees of joint degeneration but for the sake of argument, throughout this post we will refer to all conditions as ‘arthritis’
Ask yourself these questions about your pet……
Is your pet slowing down on walks?
Does your pet appear lame or stiff after getting up?
Is your pet reluctant to jump up to the sofa / bed / car?
Does your pet cry or act unnaturally when approached or handled?
Is your pets coat out of condition?
If you answered yes to any of these questions your pet may be suffering from arthritis – speak to your vet about what you can do to help your pet enjoy the most of their old age and be pain free.
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis – inflammation of the joints.
Osteoarthritis – arthritis caused by deterioration of joint cartilage.
Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD) – another commonly used term for osteoarthritis.
Hip Dysplasia – an abnormality of the hip joint in which the hip ‘socket’ does not support the attached limb.
Arthritis (DJD) is a progressive deterioration of the cartilage and surrounding structures of your pet’s joints. Older pets are more at risk of developing arthritis indeed certain breeds of dog are predisposed to the disease (Labradors are the first breed that spring to mind). Certain lifestyles can aggravate the condition but there are steps you can take to help prevent and slow down the degeneration of the joints.
Symptoms of Arthritis
Symptoms of arthritis vary from pet to pet but generally your dog or cat will slow down over a period of time. General signs include slowing down on walks, a reluctance to play or interact with other pets and family members, stiffness when rising especially after a lengthy sleep, not jumping up onto sofa’s/bed’s as they would before, sleeping more than usual particularly in colder weather, an abnormal gait when walking or running, lameness, crying or whining when otherwise out of character, pain when moving and even total collapse in severe cases.