As colder weather sets in, our pets may feel it in their joints too. According to the Arthritis Foundation 1 in 5 dogs in the United States is estimated to have arthritis.
So what is arthritis? Arthritis is a chronic, degenerative disease of the joints which occurs when the cartilage of the joint is damaged by trauma or injury, wear and tear, or congenital abnormalities such as hip dysplasia.
Signs that your pet may be suffering from arthritis include:
- Reluctance to take walks of usual length
- Decreased interest in play
- Stiffness, which may disappear as pet “warms up”
- Difficulty climbing stairs, getting into the vehicle, or jumping on the bed or other furniture
- Difficulty rising from rest
- Limping or abnormal gait or posture
- Licking a single joint
- Acting withdrawn and spending less time with the family
- Soreness to touch, which can in some instances lead to aggression
- Decreased range of motion
- “Slowing down”
If your pet is exhibiting any of the above signs, they may be suffering from arthritis. While there is not a cure for arthritis, there are many treatment options aimed at preventing the disease from progressing and minimizing the impact of the changes that have already occurred. In other words, we want to help keep your pet comfortable and acting like their younger self!
Treatment options may include things such as:
- Weight reduction
- Controlled exercise
- Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate supplements
- Omega fatty acids
- Physical therapy
- Veterinary therapeutic diets
- Prescription anti-inflammatory and pain medications
- Joint injections
- Acupuncture and massage therapy
- Surgical options
Your pet does not have to live with the pain of arthritis, so give us a call today!