One of the most common disease that pets suffer during their middle age to older is one you could have never thought of! This horrible disease that could permanently disable your pet is non other than arthritis. Scroll your way down and find out all you need to know about arthritis in pets.
Reduced joint mobility and the presence of arthritic pain have a significant impact on the quality of life of our senior pets.
Many older pets begin to suffer loss of mobility and increasing joint pain from as young as seven years of age. With increasing life expectancy in our pets this can mean that they are affected by arthritic pain for more than half of their life. Following a few ways to prevent arthritis:
⦁ Research your pet’s breeding to understand if there are any known genetic arthritic issues.
⦁ Use a premium pet food throughout your pet’s life and discuss with our vets if and when you should transition to a dedicated joint health formula.
⦁ Weigh your dog and track their weight at least three times a year and check with us about an ideal weight to maintain. Extra weight puts significant strain on the bones and joints and can accelerate joint deterioration.
⦁ Nutritional supplements (Fish oils and Marine supplements) can be used to promote ongoing joint health.
Reducing The Signs of Arthritic Pain
Typical signs of arthritic pain include symptoms in your dog like:
⦁ being slow to stand
⦁ reluctance to exercise
⦁ difficulty climbing stairs and stumbling on steps
⦁ responding in pain when touched around the hips
Typical signs for your cat include:
⦁ loss of flexibility making grooming difficult (untidy coat)
⦁ stiffness in movements
⦁ reluctance to jump up or down
These signs tend to be more obvious in colder weather. Speak with our vets about nutritional supplements which can promote joint health and reduce the signs of arthritis. These supplements can be given as a liquid, tablet, chew or powder depending on the preferred method for your pet.
Daily supplementation is important. Joint deterioration has occurred over a long period so it will take some time to see results. While signs are more obvious in winter months, it is far more effective to supplement your pet all year round. Pets and human metabolism are very different so it is vital that we only use supplements formulated specifically for our pets.
Increasing Their Comfort
High quality bedding is critical in helping to manage the pain of arthritis, especially in larger breed dogs.
Bedding should have high levels of padding which acts as an insulator against the cold and protects the affected joints from unnecessary pressure.
Insulated coats act in the same way and continue to protect our senior pets when they are mobile.
If your dog sleeps outside ensure they have a high quality insulated kennel.
Warm packs at night and gentle massage in the morning can help pets back to mobility.
Without a voice, there is a risk that our pets may be suffering in silence. So it is our responsibility to our pets to manage their diet, weight, health and surroundings to prevent arthritis where possible, reduce the signs when present and increase their comfort wherever possible.