Brrr its freezing! As we rug up and turn on our heaters, it’s important to remember that our pets feel the cold too! For many of our pets, the cold can mean pain. Arthritis is a painful condition that is generally exacerbated with the coldness of winter.
Arthritis effects the joints. It can occur, not just in older pets, as joint cartilage degenerates, but can also be seen in younger pets with congenital joint abnormalities. This means joint pain can occur in any age pet. Arthritic pain is a nagging constant pain. Most pets will live with this painful condition in silence. Pets don’t cry and seldom call out in pain. It’s therefore up to you as a pet owner to ensure your pet is not suffering in silence.
How do you know if your pet is in pain due to arthritis? The following symptoms can indicate joint pain and should be addressed by your veterinarian;
- Slowness and/or stiffness when getting up or moving around
- Inability to jump up on the couch or bed anymoreFor cats, inability to jump onto things as high or at all. Often cats will limit their movement.
- Licking at the joint areas
- Tenderness in certain areas that may put pressure on joints – may be sore to touch.
- Cats will often growl when picked up or touched on the back.
- Dragging of back legs and worn toe nails
- Cats may also show a lack of grooming
Is there a cure? No. Unfortunately there is no cure for arthritis. However, it can be managed by a number of different treatment plans to alleviate pain. To find the best arthritis management treatment, speak to your vet. Treatments can include;
- Weight control and management
- Change in exercise routines and physiotherapy – more gentle approach like swimming may be recommended
- Omega 3 rich dietary change
- Joint cartilage protection medication – like Zydax or Cartrophen (injections)
- Nutraceuticals like Glyde -An additive to your pets diet. These products contain important minerals and nutrients to increase the cartilage production and reduce inflammation.
- Acupuncture – Wellpet Vets Dr Sarav is trained in acupuncture therapy.
- Anti-inflammatory medications as prescribed by the vet to help reduce pain.
If you think that your pet is showing signs of arthritis or would like to find out more about this condition, please contact WellPet Animal Hospitals on 1300WELLPET NOW!