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Does My Pet Have Arthritis?

by | Dec 18, 2019

Kitty not jumping on the bed anymore? Fido no longer interested in going for walks? Sometimes pet parents think this is just a natural part of old age. Aging isn’t a disease; however senior pets can be prone to arthritis.

What is arthritis? It is the catch-all term for inflammation in the joints. Pets of all ages can suffer from a variety of causes and types of arthritis. The painful disease doesn’t discriminate. It can affect both dogs and cats, purebreds and mixed breeds, large and small, overweight and those in perfect condition.

Arthritis is generally caused by degenerative issues, overuse and age. However, it can also be caused by infection, tick-borne diseases, including Lyme disease, diabetes, trauma, genetics, metabolic challenges, immune deficiencies and even viruses, such as feline calicivirus virus.

Common Types of Arthritis

Osteoarthritis (Degenerative Joint Disease) is caused by chronic deterioration of the cartilage surrounding the joints. When cartilage deteriorates, the joints lose natural protection. This can affect the spine, knees, hips, back and legs.

Dysplasia of The Hip, Knee or Elbow is caused by a genetic malformation and misalignment of the joint.

Hip Dysplasia

Often diagnosed in large breed dogs. Because of the misalignment of the joint, the cartilage of dogs with hip dysplasia deteriorates over time and causes pain and inflammation.

Knee Dysplasia

Most often found in small dogs. Many dogs suffering from knee dysplasia experience the knee popping in and out of position.

Elbow Dysplasia

In addition to joint misalignment, the cartilage can be damaged and bones may even chip and detach from the joint.

Is Your Fur Baby Showing Any of These Symptoms?

  • Lethargic or depressed
  • No longer wanting to jump onto furniture or walk up or down stairs
  • Losing interest in play
  • Having difficulty standing up
  • Swollen joints
  • Joints popping and cracking when walking
  • Licking the joint area
  • Not interested in food
  • Weight gain due to decreased exercise
  • Peeing or pooping outside of the litter box
  • Whimpering or growling when touched
  • Panting

If your pet is showing any of these signs, it is important to see the veterinarian. The sooner arthritis is diagnosed, the sooner the pain can be relieved.

Treatment Options

The pain from arthritis can be addressed by variety of medications to reduce inflammation and supplements to lubricate the joints and help rebuild cartilage. Surgery, along with physical therapy, can often correct dysplasia.

Holistic and integrative veterinarians generally begin with less invasive therapies, including eastern or western herbs, laser therapy and acupuncture. To find a practitioner, visit AHVMA.org.

CBD is showing great promise for relieving pain in dogs with osteoarthritis. Cornell University recently completed a study suggesting that two milligrams of cannabidiol (CBD) twice daily can help increase comfort and activity.

Can Arthritis Be Prevented?

While genetics is the culprit in many forms of arthritis, joint inflammation can be prevented by providing your pet with appropriate exercise, a biologically appropriate diet and weight management.

Tips to Help Your Arthritic Pet

  • Use a ramp or pet stairs- Although young, spry cats and dogs jump on and off of things with ease, the repeated motion can cause joint problems over time. By placing a ramp to help pets on and off the bed and sofa and in and out of the car, you can help protect both joints and cartilage. Petsafe has many options.
  • A harness instead of a leash – using a harness helps distribute body weight evenly. This is especially important for pets with any type of dysplasia
  • Low entry litter box The Kitty Go Here litter box is a perfect option for cats with mobility issues. The step into the box is only three inches off the ground, making getting in and out of the box easy
  • Keep them moving – a body in motion, stays in motion. daily activity is still crucial to prevent musculoskeletal weakness. Short walks can do wonders for dogs. Engage cats in a game of hide ‘n seek. Not only will this keep them moving, it stimulates their mind, as well.

With appropriate therapies and lifestyle management, dogs and cats with arthritis can live long, comfortable lives.

Does My Pet Have Arthritis?

by | Dec 18, 2019

Kitty not jumping on the bed anymore? Fido no longer interested in going for walks? Sometimes pet parents think this is just a natural part of old age. Aging isn’t a disease; however senior pets can be prone to arthritis.

What is arthritis? It is the catch-all term for inflammation in the joints. Pets of all ages can suffer from a variety of causes and types of arthritis. The painful disease doesn’t discriminate. It can affect both dogs and cats, purebreds and mixed breeds, large and small, overweight and those in perfect condition.

Arthritis is generally caused by degenerative issues, overuse and age. However, it can also be caused by infection, tick-borne diseases, including Lyme disease, diabetes, trauma, genetics, metabolic challenges, immune deficiencies and even viruses, such as feline calicivirus virus.

Common Types of Arthritis

Osteoarthritis (Degenerative Joint Disease) is caused by chronic deterioration of the cartilage surrounding the joints. When cartilage deteriorates, the joints lose natural protection. This can affect the spine, knees, hips, back and legs.

Dysplasia of The Hip, Knee or Elbow is caused by a genetic malformation and misalignment of the joint.

Hip Dysplasia

Often diagnosed in large breed dogs. Because of the misalignment of the joint, the cartilage of dogs with hip dysplasia deteriorates over time and causes pain and inflammation.

Knee Dysplasia

Most often found in small dogs. Many dogs suffering from knee dysplasia experience the knee popping in and out of position.

Elbow Dysplasia

In addition to joint misalignment, the cartilage can be damaged and bones may even chip and detach from the joint.

Is Your Fur Baby Showing Any of These Symptoms?

  • Lethargic or depressed
  • No longer wanting to jump onto furniture or walk up or down stairs
  • Losing interest in play
  • Having difficulty standing up
  • Swollen joints
  • Joints popping and cracking when walking
  • Licking the joint area
  • Not interested in food
  • Weight gain due to decreased exercise
  • Peeing or pooping outside of the litter box
  • Whimpering or growling when touched
  • Panting

If your pet is showing any of these signs, it is important to see the veterinarian. The sooner arthritis is diagnosed, the sooner the pain can be relieved.

Treatment Options

The pain from arthritis can be addressed by variety of medications to reduce inflammation and supplements to lubricate the joints and help rebuild cartilage. Surgery, along with physical therapy, can often correct dysplasia.

Holistic and integrative veterinarians generally begin with less invasive therapies, including eastern or western herbs, laser therapy and acupuncture. To find a practitioner, visit AHVMA.org.

CBD is showing great promise for relieving pain in dogs with osteoarthritis. Cornell University recently completed a study suggesting that two milligrams of cannabidiol (CBD) twice daily can help increase comfort and activity.

Can Arthritis Be Prevented?

While genetics is the culprit in many forms of arthritis, joint inflammation can be prevented by providing your pet with appropriate exercise, a biologically appropriate diet and weight management.

Tips to Help Your Arthritic Pet

  • Use a ramp or pet stairs- Although young, spry cats and dogs jump on and off of things with ease, the repeated motion can cause joint problems over time. By placing a ramp to help pets on and off the bed and sofa and in and out of the car, you can help protect both joints and cartilage. Petsafe has many options.
  • A harness instead of a leash – using a harness helps distribute body weight evenly. This is especially important for pets with any type of dysplasia
  • Low entry litter box The Kitty Go Here litter box is a perfect option for cats with mobility issues. The step into the box is only three inches off the ground, making getting in and out of the box easy
  • Keep them moving – a body in motion, stays in motion. daily activity is still crucial to prevent musculoskeletal weakness. Short walks can do wonders for dogs. Engage cats in a game of hide ‘n seek. Not only will this keep them moving, it stimulates their mind, as well.

With appropriate therapies and lifestyle management, dogs and cats with arthritis can live long, comfortable lives.

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