If you have a senior dog or cat, then you need to be on the lookout for signs that he or she may have arthritis. And that’s because almost all pets will develop this disease to one extent or another when they are older. They can actually get the disease when they are younger, too.
Arthritis itself is a degenerative joint disease that can hinder movement and cause Fido or Kitty a great deal of pain. Canines are more susceptible to this disease than felines, and larger dog breeds are more vulnerable than smaller ones. Cats who have arthritis will sometimes show signs in different ways than dogs.
In dogs, the most common symptoms of arthritis are:
- stiffness, especially after physical activity;
- a reluctance to climb steps or jump up; and
- an inability to rise up quickly from a resting position.
In cats, the symptoms are similar but also include:
- unusual irritability;
- an intolerance of being handled; and
- a greater need for sleep.
In both dogs and cats, arthritis can occur because of:
- old age;
- wear and tear on the joints and/or injury or trauma; and
- genetic tendencies.
Treatment options for arthritis vary depending on what is causing it. If Fido or Kitty is arthritic because he or she is overweight, then a special weight reduction diet will be necessary. Otherwise, your veterinarian may suggest that you try glucosamine/chondritin supplements or laser therapy to decrease inflammation. Other options include medication (of the non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory type) or surgery.
Even if you are the most vigilant of pet owners, detecting the presence of this disease can be difficult. If you suspect that your animal pal may be developing arthritis, then you need to make an appointment at Austin Pet and Bird Clinic. Our staff of caring Doctors of Veterinary Medicine will do a full nose to tail examination on your dog or cat. Remember, the key to ensuring your pet’s health is to catch any developing condition in its earliest stages, so contact us today!