My mom’s been talking a lot about arthritis lately. She says that with the weather changing, many pets are having “flare ups” of arthritis. I found out that up to 20% of dogs and, although the percentage is unknown, a significant amount of cats are affected by arthritis.
Arthritis is inflammation in a joint. There are many different types of arthritis, but the most common type my parents treat is called osteoarthritis, meaning it involves changes to the bones. This is a progressive disease that has no cure. Treatment focuses on slowing the progression of the disease and relieving the pain caused by the bones rubbing together. My mom is doing a lecture on the treatment options available and says the best treatment plans involve multimodal care (treats in multiple ways).
Since she is focusing on treating arthritis, I am going to tell you some symptoms of arthritis. You will typically see at least one or more of the following symptoms if your pet is suffering from arthritis.
-Difficulty getting up from a lying or sitting position
-Decreased stamina when exercising
-Reluctance to jump, run, or climb stairs
-Soreness or limping
-Aggressive or bites when touched
-Some cats will urinate or defecate outside of the litter box (because it hurts to climb inside)
-Urinating and defecating in the house (dogs will sometimes hold it so they don’t have to get up)
-Difficulty getting comfortable
-Decreased muscle mass
Some of these symptoms can also be symptoms of other diseases, so it’s important to have your vet examine your pet before starting any treatment. If you think your pet may be suffering from arthritis, give my parents a call to schedule an appointment or come to my mom’s free client education lecture on January 12th from 1 PM-2 PM. I’ll be there!