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Just like humans, our pets can develop arthritis, which can significantly affect their quality of life if not treated properly. Although some slowdown is inevitable as your pet ages, some of the signs we usually associate with aging are actually due to arthritis. Also known as degenerative joint disease, Arthritis occurs when the cartilage in a joint erodesresulting in the painful state of rubbing bone against bone.
Getting older is inevitable – developing arthritis isn’t. While some of our pets develop arthritis, treatment can help manage their condition. So before dismissing some of their symptoms as part of the normal aging process, keep a close eye on their behavior so that you can offer them the help they need.
These seven signs indicate that your pet could have arthritis
Unfortunately, our pets can’t tell us what’s going on, which means we need to be extra vigilant about behavior changes that indicate a problem. In arthritis, this means watching your pet for signs that they are no longer moving as easily as they used to be, or that they are in pain. This can be especially difficult with cats, who have a tendency to act like they are fine to the point where it becomes really evident that they are not.
According to PetMD, Seven Signs Your Cat or Dog May Have Arthritis contain:
- Difficulty moving
- Spine problems, such as abnormal posture
- Excessive tiredness
- Irritability that increases when they are petted or treated in a way that hurts them
- Muscular atrophy
- Licking, chewing, or biting their pain areas
In cats there may be another sign Urinating or defecating outside the litter boxbecause her joint pain makes it too difficult to climb into.
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How To Prevent Arthritis In Pets
The best way to prevent arthritis is Keep your pet at a healthy weightas this will reduce the stress on the joints. If you notice your pet getting a small collar, talk to your veterinarian about the best way to put your pet on dog or Cat) on diet. This includes identifying a healthy weight, the best foods to eat properly, and strategies to face their particularly pathetic eyes.
For large breed dogs that are particularly prone to arthritis, it is very important to Feed them proper nutrition as they developto make sure their bones and joints are developing properly.
How to treat arthritis in pets
Treating your pet’s arthritis requires a number of different strategies, including pain management and pain relief. To manage your pain, your vet may prescribe you Pain relievers, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)specially designed for your pet. (It’s important to note that the over-the-counter NSAIDs we take for our pain can be extremely dangerous to your pet.)
To relieve your pet’s pain, which can help reduce reliance on pain medication, you should manage their weight and make sure they get enough exercise. For nutrition, your vet may suggest a specific food that can help you lose weight, while some joint supplements can help relieve your pain. When exercising, avoid strenuous activities like running or jumping and instead choose gentle activities that have the dual benefit of building muscles that support your joints while also helping you lose weight.