As our four-legged friends age, it’s important to keep them healthy and active. Osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease, is common in both cats and dogs and can prevent them from enjoying their golden years.
Osteoarthritis causes painful swelling in a pet’s joints. The disease most commonly targets overweight pets and large breed dogs, but it can affect aging dogs of all sizes, and about 90% of cats over age 12 will develop osteoarthritis.
Signs of Osteoarthritis in Cats and Dogs
Being aware of your pet’s behavior is crucial to detecting the signs of osteoarthritis. These include:
- Limping, lameness, or stiffness
- Joint swelling
- refusal to use a limb
- Slow to stand
- Reluctance to climb stairs or play
- Lack of balance
If you notice any of these signs or general lethargy in your pet, it could indicate osteoarthritis.
Managing Osteoarthritis in Dogs and Cats
The sooner treatment begins, the better we will be able to preserve your pet’s existing health. While there is no cure for osteoarthritis, we can slow its progression and manage your pet’s symptoms.
- Provide soft bedding and elevated dishes.
- Keep your pet active with plenty of exercise.
- Manage your pet’s weight.
- Dietary adjustments and supplements can be incredibly effective.
- Consider cold laser therapy which, non-invasive and safe for long-term use, has been shown to reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
Don’t Let Your Pets Suffer, Schedule an Appointment Today
About a month ago, a client came to us with their 13-year-old dog, who wasn’t able to get around like he once could. We suspected their furry family member was suffering from osteoarthritis in his golden years. You might think he needed to go on a regimen of pain medications or even have a surgery, but we were able to get him playing and acting like a puppy again with just a simple adjustment to his diet!
If you notice your pet acting stiff, becoming disinterested in play and activity, or having trouble standing up, we encourage you bring them to Old Orchard Animal Clinic right away. Our veterinarian will assess your furry companion’s condition and provide a pain management and osteoarthritis treatment plan personalized to address your pet’s individual medical needs. For more information about osteoarthritis in dogs and cats and our comprehensive list of holistic treatments and therapies, we welcome you to contact our office today.