To distinguish, arthritis as a term is used to refer to the inflammation of the joints. Osteoarthritis, the clinical term (and most common form) arthritis is more commonly known by, refers to the chronic joint inflammation that leads to long-term pain.
Despite the disease’s commonness, there is no concrete cause for arthritis in our older pets. In dogs and cats, hip or elbow dysplasia may contribute to the development of the disease. Additionally, the disease can develop as a result of abnormal wear and tear on the body, defects from birth, and obesity.
The general consensus is that arthritis is brought on by increased stress on an animal’s joints.
Signs and Symptoms
Once afflicted with arthritis, a pet owner will notice their pet begin to slow and may notice their cat or dog showing pain when they move their shoulders, knees or elbows. Pets suffering from arthritis will typically stop running at full speed due to the pain they’re experiencing, and won’t jump to their maximum height. They will, so to speak, begin to show their age.
Along with those telltale signs, pet owners should look out for the following symptoms in their pet in order to properly diagnose arthritis:
- Lack of Appetite
- Joint Swelling
If you think your pet is suffering from arthritis, they should be taken to the vet for an examination. There, a veterinarian will do thorough testing to see is your pet is indeed suffering from the disease. Once a diagnosis is made, there are a variety of pain management drugs that can be given to your pet. You should consult your veterinarian to see if any of these drugs are right for your cat or dog.
While only your veterinarian can provide a proper diagnosis and clinical treatment in terms of pain managing drugs, there are various things you can do at home to make your pet comfortable and ease their stress.
Having your pet participate in low-impact exercise activities can help ease their pain. Dogs, specifically, are able to partake in water sports that keep muscle strong without causing stress.
Another thing to consider is where your pet sleeps at night. To avoid tightness in the joints, it’s important to keep the area where a pet sleeps warm. An orthopedic bed also works to provide comfort to a pet.
Visit here for more tips on keeping an arthritic pet comfortable.