Arthritis is a painful joint disorder that many humans face daily and recognize the struggles of living with it. This is no different for your dogs and cats!
Therefore, it is important to get the proper knowledge of what arthritis is, what causes it and how to prevent it. This is why we put together a guide about arthritis so you can help your dog live a comfortable and healthy life.
What is arthritis?
Arthritis is inflammation of the joints that causes pain and discomfort. It can be present in more than one joint and cause swelling which can have an effect on your pet’s mobility. Therefore, they can experience pain and stiffness in the body. It is most common in older dogs and cats.
What causes arthritis?
There are many reasons why your dog or cat may have or experience arthritis.
Some of them include:
- Joint infection
- Inherited or in their genes
- Immune system problems
- Obesity or overweight
- Ligament, tendon or muscle injury
- Aging and natural erosion of the cartilage
Signs and symptoms of arthritis
It is important to recognize the signs and symptoms that may signal a red light that your pet maybe suffer from arthritis because your pets are unable to communicate with you verbally.
Some of the cues include:
- Favoring one leg when walking
- Behavioral changes; you may experience your pet easily annoyed
- Moans in pain when you touch a certain joint or limb
- Walks stiffly
- Swollen or stiff joints
- Suffers loss of flexibility
- Hesitant to jump, run or climb stairs
- During the winter or cold temperatures joint and pain problems may increase
Like humans who suffer from having arthritis, there is no cure. However, there are treatments that one can take and give to their pet to prevent pain and more damage.
Some of them include:
- Low impact exercise on the joints: It is important for your pets to have daily exercise but activities that have a low impact on their joints. Some activities that your pet can do that has low impact include:
- controlled walks or jogging on a lease
- Weight management: When your pet is overweight and/or obese it causes their joints to be surrounded by fat which can cause more pain. In addition, they are more prone to get arthritis
- Acupuncture: is a great way to help reduce pain and arthritis symptoms
- Medications: Are also a great way to help maintain joints and give relief to pain when your pet is suffering from arthritis.
There is no cure for arthritis, but there are many precautions that you can take with regards to helping delay the progress of arthritis in your pet.
Some of the precautions include:
- Keeping your pet active
- Monitoring their weight
- Keeping a healthy diet. By including good fats like Omega-3 fatty acids
- Giving warm baths during cold temperatures and the winter season
- Keeping soft bedding
- Visiting your vet for regular check-ups