Arthritis is a common problem that many dogs and cats face as they grow older. Arthritis in pets can be extremely painful, restricting your pet’s mobility. With proper care, however, your pet can manage this condition and continue to live a high quality of life. These FAQs from Clearwater Animal Clinic in Clearwater, FL, explain more about the causes, symptoms and treatment of pet arthritis, so you can take measures to help your pet find arthritis relief.
What is arthritis?
Arthritis is a chronic disease that causes cartilage to break down in your pet’s joints. Cartilage is connective tissue that helps cushion the joints to keep bones from rubbing together as your pet moves about. The breakdown of cartilage means less protection for your pet’s joints. This results in bone rubbing against bone, producing pain and limiting your pet’s mobility. Dogs and cats are more susceptible to developing arthritis in their senior years.
What causes arthritis?
The most common causes of arthritis in pets are age and genetics. Trauma, infections, obesity, and health issues like hip dysplasia can contribute to this condition.
What pets are at risk for arthritis?
Both dogs and cats are prone to arthritis. However, some of the larger dog breeds like German Shepherds, Labradors, Burmese mountain dogs, and Rottweilers are at greater risk due to poor breeding practices. Obesity can lead to arthritis in dogs as the excess weight can put undue strain on your pup’s joints.
What are some symptoms of pet arthritis?
Arthritis in dogs and cats can produce the following symptoms:
- Difficulty sitting or standing
- Difficulty walking, running or jumping
- Difficulty getting up after sleeping
- Stiff joints
- Limping or lameness
- Lethargy as pets lose interest in playing or moving about due to pain in their joints
If your pet is showing signs of arthritis, contact our Clearwater, FL, veterinarian for a checkup. Our vet can determine if your pet has arthritis so we can help with treatment.
How is pet arthritis treated?
If your pet is diagnosed with arthritis, our Clearwater vet can discuss with you some options for treatment. Your pet’s treatment will depend on the cause and severity of his condition. For pets that are overweight, we may recommend dietary changes to help them trim down to a good weight level that will take pressure off of his joints. This can help with arthritis relief. We may also prescribe pain-relief medication to facilitate your pet’s mobility. Physical therapy, hydrotherapy, and acupuncture are additional treatment options that can help improve your pet’s condition.
See Our Clearwater, FL, Veterinarian for Pet Arthritis Relief
To schedule a consultation for diagnosis and treatment of arthritis in your pet, contact Clearwater Animal Clinic in Clearwater, FL, at (727) 584-1151.