Pet Arthritis – Can My Pet Get It?
If you’ve ever heard an older person complain about painful joints, arthritis was probably the culprit. People with arthritis don’t always walk with a smooth gait. They endure pain and sometimes have difficulty making a move from sitting to a standing position. Pet arthritis can affect your beloved animal family members in these same ways.
What is Pet Arthritis?
Pet arthritis is common among aging cats, dogs, and other animals. It affects animal joints the way human arthritis affects people’s joints. Pet arthritis deteriorates the cartilage that normally cushions your pet’s joints. As the cartilage shrinks away, it loses its capacity to protect your pet’s bones.
Without cushioning, bones sustain damage from scraping together. Your pet’s joints become inflamed and infected. As the disease progresses, movement becomes painful and difficult. Arthritis is often an overwhelming condition that reduces your pet’s quality of life.
Why Pets Get Arthritis
Pets get arthritis for some of the same reasons that arthritis affects people. PetMD’s article, Arthritis Treatment for Cats,” and the AKC Canine Health Foundation article, Managing Canine Arthritis describe similar reasons for the disease in both cats and dogs.
- Prior injury
- Metabolic diseases
- Body structure
How to Recognize Pet Arthritis
Pain and discomfort are the primary arthritis symptoms. Of course, your cat or dog won’t complain. It’s up to you to pay attention and watch their behavior. Your pet may change the way he walks because of pain. He might not be as playful, and you may notice changes in his appetite and sleep patterns.
Talk to Your Veterinarian
If you suspect that your pet has arthritis, dietary changes, exercise, supplements, and other treatments might help. Before you decide to try any of these things on your own, take your pet in for a medical examination. Your vet can examine your pet and diagnose the problem. If your pet does have arthritis, your vet will discuss the most beneficial treatment plan.
Contact Hebron Veterinary Hospital
If your cat or dog is showing signs of pet arthritis, call us at (860) 228-4324. We’ll provide the care your pet needs to ease his discomfort. If your dog is aging, you should also consider scheduling an annual senior pet wellness visit. When we examine your pet regularly, it gives us a chance to discover and treat your pet before a developing condition becomes a major problem.