At Ambleside Animal Hospital, we believe that no cat or dog should have to endure any pain. Arthritis can affect your cat or dog’s lower back, hips, elbows, wrists and knees. When your loyal companion has movement limitations, they don’t get to be their true self and that’s why we provide treatment plans. Our veterinarians will work with you to keep your feline or canine pal as happy as possible even with their diagnosis.
What can lead to arthritis in cats and dogs?
Arthritis in cats and dogs mostly occurs because of aging. The illness is famously called the “wear and tear” disease meaning at a certain age the cartilage separating the bones begins to break down leading to pain and inflammation in that area. Other factors can also contribute to your loyal companion developing the disease, these include:
- Genetics - some breeds are more likely to develop arthritis due to issues such as abnormal joint development.
- Injury - damage to their joints, whether from sports or accidents, can accelerate the disease.
- Body weight - excessive fat can put a strain on the joints.
If you are worried about your loyal companion developing arthritis, please speak with your veterinarian to learn how you can treat and even reduce the effects of the disease.
What are signs that my cat or dog has arthritis?
In severe cases it’s easy to identify that your cat or dog is in pain. However, in the early stages your loyal companion will try to hide their pain which will change their behaviour. Here are some signs that you should bring to your veterinarian’s attention:
- Issues with using the stairs
- Irritability or aggression towards you or other animals
- Limping or walking stiffly
- Reduced activity
- Swollen or sore joints
Can arthritis be cured?
Unfortunately, there is no cure for arthritis. However, there are many different ways to reduce their discomfort. We offer different forms of rehabilitation and pain management that can make life easier for your cat or dog. Here are some treatment options that may be recommended:
- Joint supplements
- Modified nutrition
- Weight management
- Pain medication
- Laser therapy
How can I support my arthritic cat or dog?
Following your veterinarian’s treatment plan is one of the best ways to give your arthritic dog or a cat a good quality of life. You may also look into different ways to make your home safer and more accessible to them. This could include installing ramps, raising their food/water bowl to elbow height, adding slip-resistant surfaces to keep them from falling and providing them with a soft orthopedic bed.