One of the most common illnesses our cats and dogs suffer form is arthritis. But what causes it, and how can it be treated?
What is arthritis?
Arthritis occurs when a pet’s joint is unstable, causing the bones to move abnormally within the joint. Over time, the cartilage lining the bones begins to break down. This causes the bones rub against each other. This results in pain and inflammation. While some breeds are more prone to arthritis than others, all geriatric pets are susceptible.
How do I know if my pet has arthritis?
The most common sign of arthritis is limping. But there can be more subtle indications that your cat or dog is suffering, such as “slowing down.” Does your dog not charge up and run as much anymore? Does your cat seem more reluctant to play? These can all be signs of arthritis, especially if your pet is over the age of 7. Other symptoms include:
- Difficulty jumping or climbing stairs
- Decrease in activity level
- Difficulty rising
- Swollen joints
- Muscle loss
- Irritability when pet
Cats can also begin eliminating outside of the litter box, as it can be too painful for them to jump in or out. A visit to your vet will determine your pet’s condition.
What can I do to help my pet?
First, your veterinarian will assess what your pet needs to feel better. Many times dropping a few pounds can help with arthritis pain if your pet is overweight. Additionally, there are a variety of supplements available for your cat or dog to help with arthritis pain. ArthriMAXX™ is a palatable option that comes in liquid form for either cats or dogs. It is also available as a dog treat. It contains no sugar, starch, salt, wheat, yeast, corn, milk or soy derivatives. ArthriMAXX™ is totally safe and has no adverse side effects.
A steady exercise routine is also important in managing arthritis. Controlled exercise (such as leashed walks or swimming) can be beneficial for keeping muscle strong and joints mobile. It may also be helpful to invest in softer bedding or pet-safe stairs to allow your cat or dog to access furniture safely, without straining joints.