Pet Arthritis FAQs
What may seem like a normal part of your pet getting older, may not be that normal after all. In fact, nothing about arthritic changes in your pet should be perceived as run-of-the-mill.
The truth is, without continued care, pets with arthritis are likely to experience constant pain. What’s more, they may gain weight due to lack of exercise, further compromising their ability to move about normally.
Fortunately, there are a wide variety of options and treatments to consider for arthritic pets. At New Hope Animal Hospital in Durham, we’ll provide compassionate care and answer your questions while developing a full treatment plan for your pet.
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis, or osteoarthritis, is a progressive disease found in both dogs and cats. It is a degenerative condition of the joints which causes the normal cartilage to break down. In turn, adjacent bones rub against each other and begin to cause decreased joint movement and pain for your pet. Eventually, bone spurs and more severe changes in and around the joint may occur.
What Causes Arthritis?
As cats and dogs get older, they are prone to get injured easily. Some contributing factors are identified as malformation of the joint, obesity, ligaments and muscles being injured, hip and elbow dysplasia, trauma, or infections.
What are the Signs of Arthritis?
There are a number of signs and symptoms to watch for if you believe your dog or cat is in the beginning stages of arthritis. They include:
- Your pet is slowly rising, having a hard time sitting, or having problem standing
- Appearing to be stiff or sore, with intermittent lameness
- Less interest in playing or going for walks
- Being less alert and sleeping more
Arthritis is perceived as a disease for older pets, however, it can strike at an early age. If you notice any of these indicators, or have noticed that your pet has adopted strange postures or an odd gait, they should be seen by one of our Durham veterinarians.
How Can a Veterinarian Treat Arthritis?
There are a number of manageable treatment options available for arthritic pets. First and foremost, it begins by diagnosing the problem provided by our veterinarians. Our veterinarians will probably make modifications to your pet’s diet and exercise. We'll also recommend the right types of supplements and/or medications for your pet's problems. We may prescribe NSAIDs that is made for pets.
Other prescription medications can also relieve arthritis symptoms and increase comfort and mobility for your pet. Never give your pet human medication, severe consequences, like death, can happen to your pet. Always ask a veterinarian about any questions regarding medication for your pet.
If you believe your dog or cat is suffering from arthritis, call New Hope Animal Hospital in Durham at (919) 490-2000 to make an appointment today.