We all know someone with arthritis, a painful and joint stiffening condition, but could you tell if your cat or dog had the same condition? It can be difficult to tell if your pet has arthritis, we would all recognise a stiff or limping animal but a lot of signs do go un-noticed. This is for various reasons;
-We assume our pets ‘slow down’ as they get older. Often this is actually treatable arthritis slowing them down. Once treated they become ‘younger’ again!
– Pets have four legs (unlike us with two!) so they can shift the weight around so lameness is not easily noticeable.
– Animals tend to ‘accept’ the discomfort so don’t show signs, cats are particularly good at this. A cat with arthritis may sleep more. Cats sleep a lot anyway which makes this harder to spot.
Often the only way to see if your pet has arthritis is to put him or her on anti-arthritic and if you see them brightening up and happier then that is the diagnosis! X rays can help as well. Obviously any medication can affect other areas of the body so it is important any treatment is carefully monitored and the ‘whole pet’ is considered. There are many drugs available but also nutraceuticals (such as Chondroitin and Glucosamine), weight control, exercise and treating any other problems are vitally important too.
Don’t let your older pet be uncomfortable, give us a ring for an appointment, We do a FREE OF CHARGE arthritis check during the autumn.