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Years of running, jumping and walking take a toll on your pet's joints. When your once energetic cat or dog starts to slows down or appears to be in pain, osteoarthritis may be to blame. The disease wears down the cartilage in the joints, causing bones to rub together painfully. Although there's no way to reverse arthritis, you can do a few things to make your furry friend's life more comfortable.
Arthritis signs are often subtle and can be confused with general behavioral changes associated with aging. Pets may show little interest in playing, even though a rousing game of fetch was once a favorite daily activity. When it hurts to stand up or lie down, it's not surprising that your dog or cat may move as little as possible during the day. Sleeping or resting more may be an indication that your pet suffers from painful, stiff joints.
Other signs of arthritis may include weight gain, limping, poor grooming in cats, reluctance to jump or climb stairs, or licking or biting the skin over a sore joint. Walking and moving requires more energy when your joints don't work as well as they once did. If your pet has arthritis, you may notice that he or she tires faster than usual or isn't eager to join you on your nightly walk.
Because other health conditions may share some of the same signs as arthritis, it's important to receive a diagnosis from your pet's veterinarian before you treat your dog or cat's condition at home.
Adopting these strategies can reduce pain and strain on joints and muscles:
Regular veterinary care and a little extra TLC from you will make your arthritic pet's life easier. Call us today to schedule an appointment for your furry friend.
PetMD: Arthritis: How to Recognize and Manage the Condition
Veterinary Research Communications: The Effect of Weight Loss on Lameness in Obese Dogs with Osteoarthritis, 2/10
AVMA: Arthritis in Pets: A Painful But Manageable Condition, 10/21/14