Arthritis: The ‘quiet epidemic’
Arthritis can affect up to 30-50% of cats and dogs. The most common form of degenerative joint disease is Osteoarthritis, defined as progressive deterioration of the cartilage. Geriatric pets are at highest risk. Arthritis can often be diagnosed by your vet during a physical exam; however radiographs may sometimes be required. If arthritis is diagnosed, there are numerous treatment and maintenance options to assist your pet and improve their comfort levels. Cats and dogs demonstrate that that they are feeling more pain when the temperature drops, aggravating stiff joints. Extra weight on your pet will also worsen joint pain.
What can I to do to help my pet through winter?
- Medications and nutraceuticals’ help decrease inflammation in the joints.
- Anti-inflammatories or special injections can help protect joint cartilage.
- Keep pets warm and comfortable throughout Winter. Some pets will gain more comfort wearing a pet coat.
- Gentle exercise such as swimming will keep the joints moving and will help to maintain a healthy weight.
What are some signs that my pet may be suffering from arthritis?
- Difficulty rising
- Reluctance to exercise
- Limping or slow/stiff movements
- Increased lethargy
If you think your pet may be suffering from arthritis, please visit one of your vets so they can create a personalised pain management plan to increase your pet’s quality of life.