Many people know that arthritis can really be debilitating to humans, but what about pets? Pets can also suffer from arthritis. If you don’t treat pet arthritis, it can actually lead to a variety of other medical conditions. Most of the time, it is caused by a lack of joint fluid. Fluid helps to protect the bones, and keep them from rubbing together. When it starts to diminish in old age, the bones can rub together and this can cause a lot of trouble with the joints, and it can even lead to severe pain.
Indications that Your Pet May Have Arthritis
The first thing that you will want to be aware of is the symptoms of arthritis in pets. Your pet may start to have difficulty when jumping. They may be less interested in any sort of physical activity. In cats, they may not be able to make it to their litter box to use the bathroom in time, or they may have incontinence issues.
Some animals may even walk with a limp, or have a general difficulty when walking. When looking at the joints or touching them, they may appear swollen or feel warm to your touch.Some pets may even be aggressive when they are in pain from their arthritis.
When to Visit Your Vet
If you notice any of these symptoms of pet arthritis, you will definitely want to make sure that you visit your Vet. It is really important, because if you don’t have it seen about right away it can lead to a lot of other problems and unecessary suffering of your pet. Pets that have arthritis will often time only get worse without treatment. When a pet has arthritis, they are open to bacterial infections, among other health concerns. As they probably won’t be very active, this could lead to obesity, cardiovascular disease, and more. Your vet can help to treat the condition to prevent it from becoming exacerbated.
The most common way to treat your pet’s arthritis is through the use of NSAIDS, or non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs. This is usually one of the first things that your Vet will recommend to reduce the pain. It blocks also prostaglandin production, which can help to keep the inflammation at bay, thus bringing down the pain level. Other pain medications may also be prescribed, but shouldn’t be used too often because it can lead to side effects.
Supplements containing of glucosamine or chondroitin such as Seraquin may help in some cases. These supplements can help to prevent damage to the joints and it can also help to repair the joints that have already been damaged. If you use these supplements at the first sign of arthritis, they wil be much more effective. This is also a natural treatment method, so it doesn’t have any of the negative side effects that many of the other prescription medications may have.
You should also consider encouraging your pet to get more exercise, but you need to be careful with the type of exercise. For dogs, swimming is a good exercise because it doesn’t put a lot of stress onto their joints - but for cats it really isn’t possible.
Along with exercise, you can encourage a healthier weight by changing their diet and helping them to lose weight. With losing weight, you will usually see a change in how your pet acts. This is because excess weight only puts more stress on the joints, which can make pet arthritis a whole lot worse.
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