Pet arthritis is a medical condition involving the inflammation or degeneration of a joint or joints in pets. As in humans, arthritis is commonly seen in pets. Dog arthritis is much more common than arthritis in cats. Arthritis could mean that your pets has difficulty moving around or is not as energetic as he/ she used to be. There are many different forms in which arthritis can affect animals. The most common is Osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is the continuous breakdown of cartilage in the joints. The breakdown of cartilage causes the bones to be exposed and no longer cushioned. This results in the bones being in contact with one another. This can be a very painful condition. Others include: Hypertrophic Arthritis, Wrist Arthritis, Infectious Arthritis, Hip Dysplasia, and dislocation of a kneecap.
It can be very difficult to detect signs of arthritis in your pet during the early stages. Your pet will not show any obvious symptoms. This is why most cases of arthritis or other joint pain are not detected until the condition has had a greater impact on their body. As a pet owner some symptoms to look for include:
If any of these symptoms are noticed, you should take your pet to your veterinarian. Diagnosis can then be completely achieved by taking x-rays, or by examining joint fluid.
Arthritis can affect any type of pet, no matter the age, size, or breed. However, there are many trends that have become common and which may even help determine if your pet is affected.
Other causes such as improper development of bones during youth or not exercising enough can also lead to joint pain/ arthritis.
There is no defined cure for joint pain/ arthritis as in most cases surgery cannot fix the problem. However, your pet can still live a happy and comfortable life. If early diagnosis is done, it is best to eliminate any unhealthy practices. For example, weight loss should definitely be achieved by overweight pets. The extra weight results in a lot of unnecessary pressure being applied to the joints. Medication is also available to reduce the pain of joint pain/ arthritis. Aside from healthy eating habits, regular exercise is also extremely important. Dogs should be taken on regular walks and kept quite active. Exercise can aid in reducing pain and stopping further damage of the joints. Make sure to talk to your veterinarian about a safe exercise regime. Exercise is also important for cats. You should play games with your cat and try to have some sort of physical activity incorporated into his/ her everyday life. Never let your cat sleep in one spot for a long period of time. Keep in mind however that rest is also vital for your pet.